FOCAL POINT by Graeme Dawson
New Years' Resolutions
New year's resolutions, how long do they last? I resolved to eat less, work less, pray more, and to be a better husband. It's nine days into 2001 and I have slipped in three out of the four. Now is this a character fault of mine to be poorly disciplined, or a behavioural fault in setting my bar too high? My Son in law says "you only get hurt from unmet expectations resulting from the unreal level at which you set the bar that you fail to clear."I'm inclined to believe that this could be a cop out which means you only attempt the things in life that you see yourself safely achieving. In which camp then do you put Tony Bullimore,Martin Luther King, Richard Branson, and Daniel Kowolski?, if I may put them all in the one sentence. Safety first is an excellent pricipal but safety and a raised bar got Sir Edmond Hilary to the top of Everest and got Nelson Mandela the equal opportunity his people deserved. Christians have a high bar called faith. Our God is not a cosmic superman but He has promised through Jesus to help His people achieve what to many would be humanly unacheivable . I think of just a few, who when facing a very high bar, cleared it with total faith and trust in their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Mrs Staines comes to mind, her husband and two boys were burned to death while on missionary duty. Betty Cuthbert is another, her bar of bankrupcy and multiple sclerosis seemed unclearable without her personal faith in God. I have a book on my shelf entitled Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey. Sadly I meet many people of whom Yancey speaks amoung this paper's readership. People who are bruised by an unreal understanding of God, and or a poor and often misguided theology. People who because they have personally failed to clear their often unrealistaly set bar, blame God. To the tune of that well known song "what's God got to do with it? Be gentle on yourselves this new year, forgive yourselves quickly and willingly for personal failures in clearing your bars and whatever you do don't blame God. However do study up on what God does actually promise. Have a great New Year.