No longer am I one who makes full-out new year’s resolutions. It has never gone well with me in the past. Resolve to lose weight – gain 10 pounds! The year I resolved to catch up on my (then) six children’s baby books, not only did I not finished their books by year’s end as I had hoped, but I became pregnant with twins and having two more books to work on! Yep, that’s how it kind of goes with me and new year’s resolutions.
I do, however, like to look back on the previous year and give myself something specific to focus on for the new year. Usually, I take my search to pray and ask the Holy Spirit for an idea.
Then comes a little game of Bible roulette. You know, the game where you randomly open the Bible, place your finger on the page, and read the verse. I must admit, just like playing roulette in a casino, you do not always win on the first try.
For example, the first verse I hit upon this year was 2 Samuel 11:15: “Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead.” Definitely not what I was looking for, and hopefully, not what the Spirit was trying to tell me.
Last year, I felt that God was asking me to work on the virtue of gratitude. My verse was “Rejoicing in the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). I love this verse. It helped me be more grateful for the many gifts God has given me, big and small, extraordinary and quite ordinary. I filled a notebook with my many blessings, which helped change my attitude about life on difficult days. There are always blessings because God is always with us.
Discerning this year’s verse, I felt that it would have something to do with righteousness. This was the word that popped into my head while praying. So, I went back to my Bible to tried again.
This time, I opened to Micah, chapter 2, and pointed to verse 7, which reads:
Do not my words promise good to the one who walks in justice?
Here was my verse for the year!
It led me to the Catechism to read what it has to say about the cardinal virtue of justice. This year, with the help of God’s good grace, I hope to grow in the virtue of justice, giving God and the people around me their due.
While I spend an hour in prayer and meditation with Jesus in the morning, perhaps He is asking for a little time in the midst of my day, or more quality time before bed. Maybe He is asking for an hour on Fridays in Adoration, which I love to do but have failed in making it a habit. I am open to what the Spirit wants and am sure He will lead me.
I also must be more vigilant for ways I can help those around me. Time is a gift from God, a gift meant to be spent on serving Him through others. As difficult as it may be at times, I may have to stop what I am doing to help someone else with what they need. I think God is also calling me to be a better listener. And I know my husband would love a little more quality time with me.
So, while it is not as concrete as making a resolution, choosing a verse to memorize and work on has led me to slow growth throughout the year. I guess God knows I walk best in baby steps.
Do you have a verse for the year? If so, what is it? I’d love to hear from you.