Jabe Nicholson: Biggest fight in town
MHave you already made your New Year’s revolution? Resolution, did I say? No, resolutions are as cheap as a used toothpick and usually just as useful. It’s not another resolution we need; it’s a revolution!
Speaking of revolutions, God designed our existence as if we were living in the cogs of a huge clock. The Earth rotates on its axis, exposing our part of the planet to half sun and half darkness. This gives me at least two opportunities a day to adjust my attitude – at sunrise and bedtime and at bedtime. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord…to declare your loving-kindness in the morning and your faithfulness every evening. (Ps 92:1-2) There is now a New Year’s revolution worth experiencing!
Have you ever wondered why our resolutions are usually as soft as old celery? One reason is that every decision we make is actually two decisions. If we have decided to do something more – exercise, Bible reading, closed visits, or whatever – we must also decide what we are going to do less. No one can save time; you have to take time for something else.
I have a tie rack with 24 hooks. Every time I tried to pull off a tie, I felt trapped in a nightmare with an overzealous octopus. No more. Twenty-four hooks = 24 fasteners. I decide now when I unbox this special magenta palm either to take it to the thrift store or to replace an old trusty.
So it is with my 24 hours. There is always enough time to do the will of God. We are crushed because we do not allow our days to be “ordained of the Lord” (37:23). He rules the universe well. Do we think we will lead our lives better than Him?
There are many more opportunities for revolution this year. The rotations of the moon give us a monthly reboot. The changing seasons allow us to clean up our thoughts and wasted time as well as our closets. Holidays are about recreating yourself, not just relaxing.
But the revolution of epic proportions is the one we perform every year around the sun. You would think that 92,955,807 miles would give us enough time to make some serious improvements. Why so hard?
Ah, the biggest fight in town. All the attention to fights in politics, in famous causes, or in families and marriages usually misses the point. Take your index finger. Direct it to the nearest rib cage. It all starts there.
James, in his antiseptic style, writes, “What causes fighting and strife among you? Don’t they come from your desires which are fighting within you? (4:1, VIN)
The apostle Paul goes even further: “I don’t understand what I’m doing. Because what I want to do, I don’t do, but what I hate, I do… What I do is not the good that I want to do; no, the evil that I do not want to do, I continue to do. (Rom 7:15, 18-19, NIV)
His conclusion? It’s not pretty, but it’s powerful: “What a miserable man I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! (vv 24-25)
So there you have it, the biggest fight in town. And the only way to win, to have a real New Year’s Revolution, is to invite Jesus to take the wheel on that next lap around the sun.
Jabe Nicholson of Starkville is an author and editor. He enjoys engaging with people on key life issues. Join it at [email protected] or visit www.uplook.tv.