If you read my Part 1 of Where Resolutions Come From, you know that the theme word of the year resolve is a new concept I’m eager to explore. It encouraged me to get beyond a list of to-dos and focus on how I want to be a year from now. As Slightly Cosmopolitan put it’s something “that reminds you what’s most important and what’s at the heart of all your other goals.”
Hmmm. And, what about those other goals? Enter the 252 approach I mentioned in part 1.
“and Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and men.” (luke 2:52)
It may seem like a small and insignificant footnote to the greater truths of Scripture, but somehow I think the verse is powerful. It has something to teach me about what’s important. I was reminded again of its power a few weeks ago when reading the blog of Paul Young, author of the New York Times best-seller The Shack (anxious to read this one.) He wrote a post about the nature of significance beginning with a statement from his book: “if anything matters… everything matters.” His point was that significance is derived from being, not doing [woo hoo, theme word]. Trying to gain significance from doing is inevitably fruitless. But, when we live based on the significance we have because we are human beings created in God’s image, our “doing” becomes an out-flow and response to that relationship with Him. Therefore, everything becomes significant.
That’s a shift in thinking! The laundry drying in the background and the 50 times I’ll likely wash those same clothes this year are significant. Washing the dishes in my sink, and the 350 times I’ll likely wash them again this year are significant. The lightbulb is getting brighter, but how does that relate to resolutions and 252?
The time between 252 and the launch of Jesus’ ministry at His baptism was approximately 30 years. Other than an overnight Temple experience, we don’t know anything about what he “did” during that time. Yet, Mr. Young reminded me of this:
Jesus spent 30 years ‘doing’ nothing (as the world would understand it), but the first thing we hear about him out of his Father’s mouth is how pleased Father is of His boy. Did Jesus become significant because of the next three years? Nope. He was already significant.
Whatever Jesus did during those 30 years, it was a sinless pleasure to God, and it prepared Him for the greatest accomplishment mankind has ever known. And, all that God saw fit to tell us about that period was that he grew in four areas–four areas of focus that must be pretty important in becoming the well-rounded, God-pleasing, best versions of ourselves:
Jesus grew mentally. (watchful thinking, decision-making skills, application of knowledge)
Jesus grew physically. (in strength, in stamina, maintaining the body efficiency and economy that God made)
3) Favor with God
Jesus grew spiritually. (embracing the ways of God and the permanence of his Word, loving the loves of God, acting on the priorities of God)
4) Favor with Men
Jesus grew relationally. (building favor with others, building up others, respecting others, loving others honestly and selflessly)
Even in the daily-ness of life, I can see that almost everything I “do” has some sort of impact (positively or negatively) in at least one of those four areas. And, each area affects my “being” the God-pleasure I was designed to be. This year, I’ll be looking for ways to allow my theme word to manifest itself in each of those four areas. Thanks for sharing the journey with me and stay tuned.