Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Resolution

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I'm simply not goal-oriented. Oh, it's not that I can't make a goal and work to achieve the goal. I was a Marine Corps Sergeant. I can follow orders and accomplish missions. As production controller I make goals for a living and make plans on how to accomplish those goals.

However, making and accomplishing goals is not the driving force behind my life. Neither is maintaining the status quo. We tend to make benchmarks to measure our growth as people. Benchmarks, however, are merely a series of goals. When I ran the physical fitness test in the Marines, I would push myself to pass the next guy as though it were a goal. But the final goal was the end of the three-mile run. Paul said to run as though to win the race. However, there is no end to the race. There is no finish line to cross. Aside from our physical death which happens once and which we do not pursue, we must die to our sins and pursue this daily. Ironically, we must pursue the death we die to our sins until the death of our body after which is the resurrection to glory.

What, therefore, is our goal in Christ? Our justification is not our goal but His. Our sanctification is the goal of the Holy Spirit in us. Therefore, finishing the race is not the goal, but running the race as though to win is our goal. Therefore, I do not pursue goals unduly for the goals are relatively unimportant. What is important is the principle by which I pursue not the little goals, but the goal of pursuit. I will achieve little goals, but not because I have pursued those goals, but because I have pursued the greater things.

For example, I love music. I write, arrange and rehearse music that only I and my Lord will ever hear. Occasionally, the Lord may provide an audience. I may be asked to participate in achieving a goal like putting on a concert. I may even set a little goal for myself like editing the video for and creating a DVD of an event. However, these are merely tangential and have arisen not out of a desire to accomplish the little goal of finishing the concert, but a desire to worship God in every way.

The word, "resolution" has many meanings. We make New Year's resolutions as goals to accomplish over the next year. However, a resolution is also the level of detail in an image. If you increase your resolution, you see things more clearly. That's my continuing resolution: to increase my resolution; to continue to grow spiritually so that I may see more clearly.

One thing is for sure - if I don't have a spiritual understanding yet, then I don't know where to set the goal for understanding. As others have learned and have written what they have learned, then I can read and try to understand. However, the way that this will apply to my life may differ and I may have unexpected applications. It is this element of the unknown that makes the goal of sanctification impossible to plan. No matter where one is in their spiritual walk, there is always room to grow and these ways are nearly always unexpected.

This is a lesson I have learned over the past year and a half. While I cannot detail my walk, I have grown in ways that I have never before considered. I look forward to what God has in store and I trust Him to accomplish His purposes in me. This is my resolution.

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