After making our goals/resolutions just under a week ago, I think it's appropriate to think about the "what ifs". In other words, I am weak. I struggle with discipline. What is one to do when they fail? What does an "recovering" alcoholic do after binge drinking? What does a spender do after resolving to minimize the budget and then buying something extravagant?
Some of my resolutions are easier to tackle than others. Odds are I will make it halfway through the year before stumbling on some. Other resolutions might be continued through December and perhaps for a lifetime. But sadly, some of the things I've resolved to do have already imploded.
Sometimes the failure is based on circumstances. Other times, I choose to just do away with the decision citing, "It's just too hard. It wasn't realistic when I made it." etc. And based upon past failures, I'm tempted to become cynical and not make goals in the future.
Luke writes of a prodigal son. Despite his resolutions to take his inheritance and live a great life in a foreign country, reality sets in. Eventually, after spending all that he has and living with swine, Scipture tells us he comes to his senses and returns home. Luke 15:20 begins with, "So he got up and went to his father" (NIV).
Often times, when our goals aren't realized, I think we're prone to hang out with the swine more than is necessary. In other words, because of pride, what others might think, how others will act, etc., we continue to wallow in the mud and eat what the pigs eat.
NEWS FLASH: God knows who we are. God knows our failures. God knows that we talk a big "game" ("Give me my inheritance."). We think we know what's best for us. And even after the arrogant speech and "living", God runs to us. He throws His arms around us. And a party is thrown in our honor.
The truth is we're going to fail. It's inevitable. And because of God's grace, love, and mercy, He's there to receive us back with open arms. Does this do away with the need for goal setting? Paul would say, "By no means!" Live with goals. But realize when you fail, God is there to provide grace.
Thanks be to God!
Anything you might add, subtract, or modify?