What do you do at the beginning of a new year?
If you're like most Americans, you think about making the old familiar "New Year's Resolution."
One of the other writers at the Times-Gazette wrote her column about the New Year's Resolutions she makes for other people.
Another one of the writers was busy interviewing people around town to see what their resolution was for 2009.
I gave up making a New Year's Resolution a long time ago.
So many times in the past I said I was going to lose weight in the New Year, and I would, but then it seems I "re-found" every pound I ever lost.
I think what we all really need instead of a New Year's Resolution is a New Year's Revolution. Isn't that what we really want anyway?
We want some kind of drastic change. We want to overthrow the old way we did things and bring in a new regime.
Some of the more common "revolutions" we want are physical ones, such as weight loss, or changing our appearance, or upgrading our physical activity.
Then there are the "revolutions" that have to do with our finances, especially when there is so much talk about the weak economy and money struggles. Things like, "I need to save more money," or "I need to cut back on my spending," or "I need to get out of debt," or "I need another job." Some people even say, "I need to give more," or "I need to be better about tithing."
Some people's "revolutions" have to do with relationships. Some folks want to develop new or better friendships, or want to work to improve their present relationships. Some people want to fall in love and find the perfect mate.
And another common type of "revolution" that I hear people want has to do with their spiritual life. People so often say they want to draw closer to God, or spend more time in prayer or in Bible study, or they want to find a good church, or they want to get more involved in the church they attend.
We all desire change whether we like to admit it or not. That's what our New Year's Resolutions or Revolutions are all about. We want to change. Even those people who say they don't like change, they want to change that about themselves.
There's something about coming to the end of a calendar year that somehow makes us think we can start over again. Put the past behind us, and start anew.
Yet, we don't have to come to the end of the year to make changes in our lives. That's something we can do at any time, anywhere, no matter what the date.
If we want to change or improve our situation we can. The choice is ours. But, just like anything worth having, we have to work for it. It takes time and effort.
Do you want to become a better person? You can.
Do you want to change your behavior? You can do it.
Do you want a revolution in your life or your home? You can make it happen.
If you are determined to change, partnering with God can make big things happen in your life.
There are several scriptures that I think about so often that instill hope in my heart.
One is found in Luke 1:37, which says, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Jesus repeated the sentiment again in Matthew 17:20 when he said, "If you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed you could say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible for you."
The Apostle Paul declared in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I can improve my life with God's help. So can you.
You can have your revolution.
You can start right now, today.
Have a wonderful New Year, full of revolution.
-- Doug Dezotell is the Times-Gazette newsroom clerk, and serves as the pastor at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.