The Way of Progress

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? 

I do.

I seem to make fewer each year as I note the difficulty I have in following through with them. For example, I want to write here that I resolve to post on this blog with greater frequency, but I’m afraid that might not happen. I do want to post more often, but ‘wanting’ and ‘resolving’ are very different things in my mind.

It is reported that in a celebrity golf tournament a number of years ago, the celebrity partner of Jack Nicklaus was in awe of Jack’s performance. After a particularly outstanding putt, the celebrity turned to Jack and exclaimed, “I wish I could putt like that!” To which Nicklaus promptly replied, “I didn’t get to putt like this by wishing.”

If you did make some resolutions for 2009, were any of them of a spiritual nature? In other words, when you consider spiritual growth, is this something you “wish” for, or is something you’re committed to working towards?

I once heard it said, “If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.” The idea here is that PROGRESS follows PURPOSE. The gains we make, the advances, the progress—these things come from focused effort. And so when it comes to spiritual growth, I think it is important to recognize that we won’t achieve this by drifting.

If we desire to follow Christ more closely in 2009, we will need to take specific aim.

For some of us, we will need to aim for things we currently lack. For others, the emphasis of our aim will be to remove some things in our life that have become barriers to growth. I’m not going to pretend that I know specifically all of the things you’ll need to aim at. But, what I do know, is that you will not grow spiritually by drifting. You will not make spiritual advances without aiming, and resolving, to make such advances.

If you are like me, and are tired of the status quo, may I encourage you to have a listen to a message I delivered on December 28, 2008. This along with the message I’m delivering this Sunday at St. Giles Kingsway and The Well, are meant to set-up a new message series, “What Are We Aiming At?”, which begins February 1. 

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Reading your comments is always great, but if you’re feeling really brave I’d love to hear about your spiritual aims for 2009. 

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