A Daily Resolve Is Better Than An Annual Roller Coaster Ride

November 12, 2018

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By Tan Khye Suan

Some of us have taken roller coaster rides. When we are on a roller coaster ride, we realise that we are not in control! It is full of surprises. We go slowly up to high points, then suddenly speed down steep slopes; take sharp turns at break-neck speeds; loop sideways and upside down; and, zig-zag through the roller coaster track in unexpected directions. All too soon, the ride comes to an end. We end where we started.

Life is very much like the roller coaster ride. There are ups and downs. There are unexpected turns; we are swung to the left and right. Sometimes, our life seems to be in a whirl and we get turned upside-down.

Many of us wish that life is more predictable. So we try to put controls in place; at least for areas of our lives that we think we can manage. We usually do this in the beginning of the year by making resolutions.

Every new year, we feel the “magic” of a new beginning. The passing of the old year to a new year works like an invisible boundary that we cross over from the past to the future. Whether it is real or perceived, we get the feeling that there is a new opportunity to start all over again. Hence, we make new year resolutions.

It is good to be able to feel that we can have new beginnings, clean slates to start all over again; hoping to do better than the last year. However, as we move into the new year, days, weeks or months later, we realise that the new year is much like the old one. It is also beset with many surprises and challenges; some seemingly insurmountable. What we set out as controls to some areas of our lives soon give way to uncontrolled responses on our part. Soon we see failures and become disappointed with ourselves. Eventually, we give up trying and surrender ourselves to the wild swings of our annual roller coaster ride. We wait for the year to end, and hope to start again with another new year.

The reasons why we make resolutions at the turn of the year are: 1) We feel more able to release the events of the past year, especially unpleasant ones. We hope for a better year. We hope that the new year will bring us better experiences. We feel more able to forgive ourselves for our past failures; the wrong that we may have done; and, things that we may left undone or unattended to.

But we need not wait for a new year to come, just to experience another roller coaster ride that brings us nowhere; starting at the same point every year and making no progress.

The Bible in Lamentations 3:22 & 23, tells us: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (ESV)

The Bible tells us that God’s love is steadfast. His mercies are bountiful. They are NEW every morning!

Most of us feel the need for a watershed, like a new year, to help us resolve to do better in our life. But the Bible tells us that this watershed can be everyday! In God’s eyes, every morning is a watershed! Everyday is a new beginning! We can put the past behind us. We can forgive ourselves as God forgives us through Jesus Christ. We do not need to wait for a new year to resolve to do things better or improve ourselves!

So, as we begin a new year, when we face surprises and challenges; and, we trip and fall; there is no need for us to wait for a new year before picking ourselves up to try again. We can resolve to pick ourselves up and try again everyday! What has passed, is past. God’s steadfast love and mercies are NEW every morning! If we have been unkind to someone yesterday; we can be kind to him today. If we have been unhelpful yesterday; we can be helpful today. If we have been stingy to others yesterday; we can be generous today. If we have not done a good deed yesterday; we can do a good deed today.

May God bless you. Wishing all a Blessed New Year as we continue to experience and share God’s steadfast love and mercies in every possible way!

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