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Short Term Setbacks – Long Term Failure

On the heels of last weeks focus on resolutions, I thought it necessary to mention one additional caveat.

The necessity comes from my own inability to deliver on my resolution this past week. 
My resolution was to practice guitar 1 hour a day 5 days a week. 
Yesterday I looked at my guitar several times, and although it was Monday and a practice day, I did not pick it up. 

So what now?  Do I throw up my hands in despair, call myself a failure, and give up on my resolution? 
I hope not. 

Our attitude to short term setbacks will drastically impact our long term results.  It has been my experience that as soon as I resolve to do something, that resolve gets challenged.  For example, if I have decided to make my wife a higher priority than my work, I can be expecting a decision that will test that resolve.  Like, the next day I realize that I’ve double booked a date with my wife, and a meeting with a youth. 

When these tests come our way we might not always get it right, we may make decisions that lead us away from our resolutions and goals.  Although these are disappointing moments, it is in the aftermath of these setbacks where our resolve is truly tested.  Will this setback derail us permanently or will we get back on track right now!?!

As I began my morning routine at the church, and thought about this very subject, I noticed a group of women knitting in our gymnasium.  Every Tuesday a group of women from our church get together and knit quilts for needy people in other countries.  I doubt they ever get to know who actually uses the quilts, but they do it every Tuesday.  Over the 30 or 40 years that they’ve been meeting 10’s of thousands of quilts have been knitted.  I’m sure that there were times when the women didn’t show up, or just didn’t feel like knitting that day, but those setbacks didn’t make the group fail. 

Anything worth doing is going to bring unforeseen challenges

I hope that as we resolve to do things in our lives, whether it’s at New Year’s or any time, we allow some room for setbacks.  Anything worth doing is going to bring unforeseen challenges, and how we respond in the aftermath will dictate whether we succeed or fail.

Father, You are Holy and Perfect, and everything You set Your mind to is accomplished.  In fact, You have said that Your word that goes out from Your mouth, will not return to You empty, but will accomplish what You desire and achieve the purpose for which You sent it. (Is 55:11).  We are not You, and often we find our words and our actions lacking.  We need Your strength, Your resolve and commitment in our lives.  Teach us to be more like You, to be more faithful and dedicated.  Build into our character the attributes of faithfulness and commitment we pray.  Amen.


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