Devotional: New Year’s Resolutions. A time to make or break them.

Published 1:20 am Sunday, January 15, 2023

This time of year, we often make New Year’s resolutions only to break them within a few weeks. We begin this undertaking with the greatest resolve, but alas old habits win over our well-intentioned objectives.

Sometimes we know that the changes we seek can lead to a happier, healthier life for ourselves and our families. We even think, in the quiet recesses of our minds, “If I only had help.” Yet, we are unable to keep our resolution. When we experience this type of frustration, it is time to ask for Divine intervention. 

We have in Scripture several verses that speak to this frustration. We find, “Seek help from the Almighty with patience perseverance and prayer; it is indeed hard except for those that are humble,” in Qur’an 2:45. We also find in Psalms 71:12, “Oh God, be not far from me: Oh God, make haste for my help.” Also, there is another reminder, “Help me, Oh Lord my God: Oh save me according to thy mercy,” Psalms 109:26.

It may take a catastrophic event to help us realize that Divine help is needed. I recall many years ago sitting in an NCO club in Vietnam thinking to myself, “I have to do more with my life than sitting here drinking beer.” So, I wrote a letter requesting a mail-order course in French. I bought an inexpensive guitar and wanted to learn to play so I also sent for a mail-order self-paced guitar course.

I forced myself to set aside about 15 minutes a day to study. As the days turned into weeks and months, this routine became a habit. I never mastered French but I did learn to play guitar and still do for self-enjoyment. 

I have, and I am sure many readers have also used this technique to change their life circumstances. Sometimes it is difficult and we think that we are unable to maintain our self-imposed routine. But if we just keep trying, we can.

Typically, our life’s exposure leads us to believe that we have to rely only on our knowledge and experiences to achieve our goals. This is not true. Whether we are preparing for a new employment opportunity, improving the lives of our families, or simply trying to keep New Year’s resolutions, The Almighty’s help is always near – we just have to ask for it.

Qadir Abdus-Sabur, Ph.D.