Are Our Resolutions Real Goals
…or Just Empty Promises?
Traveling Through This Life
I count them—like the numerous sunflowers of a Kansas field—Those people who pass through my life for a moment—or longer;
I treasure them—like the rare shell found after the ocean’s tide—Those people who emerge victorious through life’s turbulence;
I acknowledge them—with an engraved plaque “for services rendered”—Those people who take the time to inscribe on my heart a new song;
I wish for them—like those wished on a hundred falling stars–A lighthouse on the shore to guide them away from life’s dark, lonely places;
I invoke for them—like the sacred prayers of intercessors—The courage to create from a shattered past a future that is undiminished and abundant;
I promise them—with the assurance of experience—The powerful force necessary to mold a life of health , beauty and happiness lives inside your own spirit.
Van Hess, 2004
It was 2004 when I wrote the message of Traveling Through This Life at a significant juncture in my life. Since then, like all of us, I have been dealing with other things; and I must admit I’d forgotten the promises I made in my heart for people who came into and through my life.
Digging in a bottom drawer the other day, I found an old file folder. You know, the kind we all have where you toss things you probably won’t need. I was about to throw it out, but reached to retrieve it and nearly fell out of the chair! When my hands touched it, I looked at the words and was immediately overcome with sadness. What had happened to cause me to let these penned promises pass me by unfulfilled. I felt as if I had failed my friends and associates. Tears formed in my eyes making it hard to read to the end.
Would I have ever admitted what a failure I had been–as a friend, guide, intercessor, supporter–if I had not run across these words? Probably not since “ignorance is bliss” and we can’t fault ourselves if we don’t think about it at all.
- I had forgotten to make people feel the way I promised them.
- I had not prayed for them or treasured them or helped them.
- I had not even thought of some of them for years now.
My heart began to feel empty and the tears streaked my face because I knew by not living up to my promise to them, I had lost opportunities—to be a friend and to have a friend. In some cases, I had even lost the chance to make a difference because they had left this life. My negligence may have caused hardships for some without the encouragement they needed or were expecting.
Do I even have the right to ask someone to help me if I failed those I had promised to help? If we get another tomorrow, we get another chance–the chance to fulfill those promises. This time I must act upon it.
Many of us will make decisions in the next few days and develop a plan of how we want to change our lives. We think about it, make lofty goals, tell everyone what we will accomplish…then somewhere along the days or months they fall by the wayside. How can you concentrate on people in your everyday life if you are constantly focused on the “lofty goal” that awaits somewhere in the future.
Let’s admit, few of us would ever make a statement like this:
I can’t listen to you right now because I have a goal of making myself more available to people in the coming year !
Sadly, that’s exactly what we are telling people if we have tunnel vision about our goal. We might just miss the opportunity to experience a blessing or fail to be used for a blessing.
You can still do something for others. It’s not too late. Maybe spend the next day or two contemplating how you can help and just do it. If you just plan it, that’s all it is: a plan. But if you do it, it becomes something more. It becomes a blessing or a kind word or just a hello to someone who needs it. Give it away…it’s easy…just do it!
Forget past mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it.
Please visit here often and “Leave a Comment” about how you are dealing with life’s struggles and winning some victories. I, too, pledge to leave you messages here as to how it’s working for me.