My 2016 New Year’s Resolution by Jan Elder

A couple of months ago, my husband, Steve, had a heart attack. He had no early warning signs of heart disease. He doesn’t drink, has never smoked, he’s not overweight, his cholesterol is good, and his blood pressure is textbook perfect. What isn’t good is his family history. His father had his first heart attack at the same age, and both parents and two older sisters died of heart complications.

Scary, huh? You betcha.

So now what?

This experience is a wakeup call for both of us. As you might imagine, we’re going to be making some lifestyle changes. We’ve vowed to eat better and exercise more—normal New Year’s resolutions most American make year after year. But what I’m finding to be vastly different this year is that our priorities are changing.

sunrise-498416_1920A week or so after the attack, I enjoyed a sunrise—a rare occurrence in my life since I’m a night person. I can’t tell you the last time I was up at that ungodly hour, but the peace that flooded my soul as I drank in the streaks of soft color reminded me that God runs the show. Sure, I’m a Christian, I pray, I read my Bible, I go to church, but what really matters to me? There are many days when I run so hard and so fast I blow right by all of the beautiful scenery of life. And I leave God far behind in the lingering dust of my busyness.

So next year, my list will be a bit different. I’m going to focus more on loving my husband with my whole heart. I’m going to worry less about what other people think of me and seek what God would have me to do. I’m going to cut out some of the non-essential activities that monopolize my time and concentrate on treasuring friends and family. I’m going to have more fun, laugh more often, and get more sleep. Instead of doing more, I’m going to get to know the One who loves me the most by spending more time with Him. I want to sit quietly in His presence and just be.bible-1031288_1920

Is this going to be easy? Hardly. I’m a people pleaser and there’s so much to be done. So many projects to be involved in, so many people to help, so much to accomplish. Most days, it just makes my head spin. But what I’m starting to see is that just because I can think of a need, that doesn’t mean I have to be the one to fill that void. God can find all kinds of ways to get things done without my help.

So, what is He asking of me in 2016? I think He’s asking me to trust Him more fully and continually be awed by His grace and mercy. If I’m going to serve Him well, I’ll have to let go of the reins and let Him drive. I will strive to remember He knows where we’re going and I don’t.

In this coming year, my New Year’s resolution is simple. I’m going to do my best to relax, be thankful He’s in charge, and enjoy the ride.

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