Fairly Spiritual: Facing the new year with overwhelming resolve

Lose weight, exercise, eat better, reduce your carbon footprint, read your Bible, pray more, work harder, watch less television, control your temper, worry less, don’t be anxious, go to bed earlier, eat out less, learn to be more frugal, be a better person, keep the house clean, stop smoking, stop swearing, stop picking your face, clean the garage, get yourself organized, go to church, call your mom, write the great American novel, spend more time with your family, get a family, change jobs, straighten your teeth, get out of debt, learn a hobby, stop gambling, go back to school, travel more, and start flossing at least once a month.

Most importantly, try to relax.

For your convenience, I’ve provided a list of resolutions we can fail at as a group. Why should we suffer alone when we can flop together? One of the best things about being part of a community is we have the assurance we are surrounded by a multitude of failures. To aspire and fall flat is to truly be human.

Unfortunately, some of us don’t like that familiar feeling of resolution regret. So we avoid resolutions and give up on the possibility of falling flat on our face. There are two kinds of perfectionists. Those who try to do everything right and those who stop trying so they can never do it wrong. For the most part, I try to avoid that perfectionist trap. I prefer to exist in the perpetually trying, occasionally succeeding, middle.

Consequently, I’ve made a rather large list of goals for 2009. I figure the bigger the list, the better my odds of accomplishing something. I’ve also found if I do many things poorly, people get tired of pointing out my failings. It just takes too long. Some people have told me that attempting many things shows I have a lack of focus … and those people might be right. However, I don’t really know because it’s difficult to pay attention to what they’re saying.

Regardless, I still think it is better to dream big and fail big than to stop trying. It is my sincere conviction that too many people in our culture have stopped dreaming. We serve a creative God who made us for creativity. Too often we view our lives within narrow boundaries that simply do not exist in God’s economy. God has endowed us with a creativity that must be valued, nurtured and exercised.

The human imagination is more than an oddity of genetics and evolutionary happenstance. Rather, our brain power and perpetual wonderment is a gift from God. Sadly, many people fall into a fatalistic mediocrity. We simply stop looking for the better way, the better answer and the better tomorrow. Instead of growing and changing, we languish in the ruts of habit and tradition.

As a Christian, I believe God partners with my intellect. I believe His divine wisdom informs the imagination He gave me. Through prayer and contemplation, God provides me answers and the ability to work out those answers by faith. I believe God is still in the habit of giving His creation dreams. As the great dream giver, God looks for individuals willing to hear His voice and receive His dreams.

As we enter the new year, I encourage you to find a dream you can believe in. Life is too precious to simply go through the motions. Fear is a lousy motivator. If you’re human, you are going to fail. Even so, don’t abandon God’s dreams. I believe God not only provides the right dreams, but also the necessary grace to cover the imperfect ways we pursue those dreams.

With this in mind, it is my sincere wish that each of you find and pursue God’s dream for your life in 2009. Happy New Year.

Doug Bursch hosts “The Fairly Spiritual Show” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on KGNW 820 AM. He also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Riverside High School Theater. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or doug@fairlyspiritual.org.