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By Crystal Young

There is nothing more personally debilitating than re-writing for the “umpteenth time” on my new year’s resolution list:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get healthy
  3. Make some friends

I am not the sharpest pencil in the box today, I smirk to myself in utter irritation as I quickly press the delete button once again (who is counting right …) My silly season face that I have just pulled at myself for being a twat is turning as blank as the page goggling back at me. Oh! And did I mention how much I dislike new year’s resolutions? Let me explain. Lists pretty much used to rule my life right up – until a few years ago when I realized they are like empty speech bubbles – useless. I may come across as one of those snooty know-it-all-people where you would literally need to down a tall glass of Mampoer to have a somewhat bearable and most probably unmemorable conversation with. However, in real life, I surprisingly tend to keep my opinions to myself. The year 2020 holds promise of not only a brand-new decade but also of a clean canvas.

So please let me help the thousands of “yester-me’s” out there. Let me begin by saying that I don’t often call myself names out loud – only inside my mind where I don’t sound like a mental case, but just this once, I will let you in, so that you too will realize how much alike we really are. By now some readers will be at the point of so “spit it out already – what are you getting at?”

I was always in the way of God’s plans for my life.

As believers we can often hold ourselves to such a high standard that we are bound to falter. To fall and then to feel like a failure. But let me remind you that we are His canvas. At the start of each year we say: “Lord, do with me as You will.” And then we grab a paint brush and start splattering and spewing colours across a blank page we call our lives. I say this with the utmost respect.

Like I mentioned earlier. I honestly believed that if I had everything well planned and executed, my life year would be successful and then I could revel in the satisfaction of knowing I had accomplished goals that I had set out for myself. Rubbish! Allow me to get a bit personal with you so that you can understand my statement. I have never been overweight but then I guess that depends on the eye of the beholder. (that eye is winking at you right now. Giggle – snort.) “Get healthier.” What on earth does that mean! And make some friends! When was the last time one of us was actually a good friend to someone else? How conceited have we actually become? Our year, our canvas. No this is God’s year and we are His canvas. Let’s not get wishy-washy about this.

Isaiah 55:8 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” Declares the Lord

The first of January in South Africa is traditionally the start of a new year, a new season and of course a clean canvas. So, before you tell God what your plans are and what should happen how, where and when. Perhaps you should step away from yourself for a moment and ask the Lord what His perfect and good will is for your life. (Romans 12:2)

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.

Little else can be compared to the action of surrendering your life and future to the One who created you. I am not saying it’s easy. But would it not be less complicated to leave the decisions to God? It’s exhausting being human because we are so flawed. We are full of our own ideas and are constantly calling on God to clean up our mess. But from my own experiences God has always left a message in each one of my messes to find once I was ready to listen. Just because we grabbed the paintbrush back from the Artist it does not mean that the image is ruined. In fact it was in God’s plan all along.