As we find ourselves on the eve of January 1st, we find ourselves in most cases filled with ambitions and dreams for the year ahead. During this time of year countless individuals set goals for themselves in hopes of improving and bettering their lives. Common resolutions include eating healthy, exercising more, getting out of debt, or taking up a new hobby.
If you’re anything like me, your ambition for these resolutions greatly exceeds what you’re actually able to accomplish, like the child who eyes get bigger than their stomach and have too much food on their plate and can't eat it all. we’ll set a dozen highly ambitious goals and faithfully pursue them for a few weeks, but by the time March rolls around we can barely remember what those goals even were, or like that child give up on what we put on the plate.
As we look to the Scripture today, we’re confronted with a rather unusual resolution. We’re told to be ambitious, yet our ambition is to pursue a peaceful and quiet life. What a paradox. On the one hand, we’re told to have great ambition, to strive and seek after the goal set before us. Yet unlike virtually all other resolutions, our ambition is directed towards a calm and gentle spirit that finds peace in the simple and the ordinary.
At the root of our ambition we often find discontent. We are unhappy with our lives, our health, or our jobs, so we seek new ways to expand our identities or enhance our lifestyle. Yet so often this striving fails to deliver what it promises, and instead of finding contentment and peace, we find ourselves stuck in a vicious cycle of unrest and anxiety.
This year, I challenge you to make one very simple yet profoundly radical resolution: be content to live a quiet life.
Look for ways to find peace and joy in who God has made you to be. Encounter His blessings in small and simple ways, finding satisfaction in His presence, purpose, and in time spent with those you love and are called to serve. Free yourself from the pressure to perform, to land your dream job, or to have a perfect body. Instead, take time this year to ambitiously pursue the peace and contentment that comes from leading a quiet and simple life with God and others.
Our Prayer: Father help me to realize that being great is realized when I come to you as a child and find my dependence in what you have for me. Allow the peace of God to be my covering throughout 2016 Amen.