Well, we are quickly moving into 2012. Hoping the economy improves and the Mayan prophecy doesn’t come true. As our list of New Year’s resolutions beckons us, the high demand of life has already stolen any free time. When I was working as a personal trainer, the month of January was crazy! I would watch our front desk employees give tour after tour and sign new clients up over and over again. The gym was full of people wandering around, looking very out of place, trying out random machines, hoping somehow they would end up in great shape.
Come on, we all know most of us will end up living life just like we did two months ago. Hoping for more, a little (or a lot) unsatisfied with what we have in life. The “I should” things rarely become “I did,” when whatever motivation we had fizzles.
The other day I sat back in my chair, turned on my iPad, and began to read a little N.T. Wright. As usual this famous Oxford student said something that forced me to really wrestle with my thoughts on life’s purpose: Jesus “commands his hearers to give up their other dreams and to trust his instead. This, at its simplest, is what Jesus was all about.” Honestly when I read that I was a little put off. I mean, what’s so wrong with my dreams? What’s wrong with me wanting stuff? I decided to list the things most of us want and what our New Year’s resolutions tend to revolve around: make more money, find love, get a job we like, pray our families would all get along, that someone would give me a new Porsche 911 twin turbo (oh wait that’s just me), and of course the infamous… lose weight and be healthier. Than I started thinking about people who have “made it” in life, who are most admired by others, from professional athletes, CEOs, and movie stars. From what I observe, I don’t see a lot of happiness and fulfillment in these people. As a personal trainer I learned some of the most miserable people look awesome in the mirror. There doesn’t seem to be a formula that works every time, a failsafe resolution that really will produce happiness. Not even fate seems to really work! Just what if Wright has found the formula? What if there is another plan, another New Year’s resolution, that could produce a fulfillment that none of these other things can? Do me a favor. Find a Bible and read Ecclesiastes 1–it’s not that long, don’t worry. Than compare it to John 10:10 When Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Here is the truth question to wrestle with: will your resolutions, even if you achieved them, really produce fulfillment in life? Has anything you’ve strived for, when you achieved it, brought the happiness you expected? Maybe you need new dreams, just maybe.