At the start of this year, I wanted to do something different for my resolutions. Instead of making a list of things I would promptly discard within weeks, I wanted to do something lasting, affecting a greater change in me. So I set myself one goal – to consecrate my entire year to the Lord. I’ll spare you the long version, the short version is that I fell short – by a LOT.
As I reflected on the sorry state of my now lapsed year this morning, I felt a surge of disappointment at myself. I had a montage of images of times I conducted myself really badly, choosing the path of least resistance to ingratiate some part of the natural woman in me. I cringed to think of the times I had repeatedly wilfully chosen a worldly pursuit in the place of greater spiritual pursuits. As I tend to do in these situations, my first thought was to write down all the things I had done to come short of attaining the level of consecration I felt I was capable of. I thought of how spectacular my failures have been and how much I would have to write. And in that quiet moment that lives between bleakness and comfort, I was struck with the thought:
‘Why hold on to your failures when your Father in Heaven is more concerned with the times your have earnestly sought to succeed? Write, instead, of your many successes and progress. Repent earnestly for when you have fallen short and recommit to the same goal with a greater understanding of yourself. There are no prizes for a self-defeating demeanor.’
And just like that, there was sunshine in soul once again.
I can choose to wallow in self-loathing and self-pity, or I can choose to celebrate all my successes and progress. I can’t imagine Father in Heaven indulging in that kind of behavior himself, or even having any kind of joy watching us do that to ourselves.
It brings to mind a quote by Elder Richard G. Scott:
God did not put us on earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously!
Don’t you just love that hope-imbued statement?!
So what is the greatest lesson I learned from this past year’s efforts at consecrating my life to the Lord?
I can consecrate my life to the Lord one moment at a time by steadily making choices consistent with what I know to be true. And if I fall short, my Saviour is always there to catch me and encircle me in the arms of His love if I seek him in humble repentance.
Happy 2014 to you all. May the year bring you peace, progress and prosperity!
What are your resolutions this year? Go on, dish. 😉