2009 – Aspirations

It’s been years since I’ve made a New Years’ Resolution.

Until four or five years ago I made plans instead: detailed Goals and Objectives complete with what it would take each day or week for those plans to be realized. I was what some would call “driven” (in a good sense) and I did get a lot done, can’t deny it.

But good things can become weaknesses or liabilities when taken to the extreme, and that became true of me as well.  My goals and plans crowded out the room I needed in my life for God to do something I didn’t expect – or didn’t do something I had planned. I had everything figured out, so when He surprised me with something I ended up questioning His judgement.  (Never a good idea to quetion or doubt that way.)

This New Year there is a truckload of things outside my control.

It’s impossible to set goals, checkpoints and ways to measure your progress when you don’t know where you’ll be living, where you’ll be working, when you’ll start, how much you’ll earn, what venue you’ll be working hard in.  The unknowns outweigh the knowns.  It’s almost a shut-out!   But . . .

It’s still true that what we do grows out of who we are.

So on this first day of 2009  I’ve chosen the beginnings of three Psalms to think on.  They describe the man I want to be in 2009, no matter what happens or where Brenda and I end up.

2009 –

Not resolutions
Not goals
Not objectives

Aspirations  (kinda has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?)

I paged through the underlined passages in my Bible a while and settled on three three passages to use as my starting point.  I’m going to think and reflect on these the first week of the year and lock down the characteristics I want to be 100% true of me, all year long.  Then I’ll set some things in place to insure progress toward those ends and call them  My 2009 Aspirations.

Psalm 1:1-3  (NLT)
Oh, the joys of those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with scoffers.
[2] But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants;
day and night they think about his law.
[3] They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season without fail.
Their leaves never wither,
and in all they do, they prosper.


Psalm 40:1-5  (NLT)
For the choir director: A psalm of David.

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
[2] He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
[3] He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be astounded.
They will put their trust in the Lord.

[4] Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud,
or in those who worship idols.
[5] O Lord my God, you have done many miracles for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
I would never come to the end of them.


Psalm 131:1-3  (NLT)
A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.

Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or awesome for me.
[2] But I have stilled and quieted myself,
just as a small child is quiet with its mother.
Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.
[3] O Israel, put your hope in the Lord—
now and always.

Interestingly, they’re all in the Psalms. Since they’re not my words but the words of King David, someone who saw God work in his life through plenty of extenuating circumstances, feel free to use them too – if you like.

3 Replies to “2009 – Aspirations”

  1. Darlene Biddle

    Good food for thought – as usual !
    I like your use of the term aspirations – In my devotions yesterday – of course, starting a new book, the challenge was from Daniel 11:32b, that if we know God we will be strong…what a great encouragement….

  2. Phil

    Here are the observations I wrote about these three passages – I’ll soon post the final here.

    From Ps. 1.1-3
    Enjoy (delight in) god’s Word
    Think about it day and night

    Firmly Rooted results in
    Fruitfulness – Thriving
    Productive/prosperous in what I do.

    From Ps. 40.1-5
    (1) Patient = definition
    (1) Able to – willing to – wait for God (cf Is. 40.31)

    (2) Firm footing – free from muck and mire

    (3) A song in my heart and on my lips
    (3) A visible faith, reflecting attention to God (Glorifying Him)

    (4) Trusting God & God alone

    (5) Grateful, worshipful, aware of what God has done on my behalf — more than I can count.

    From Ps. 131.1-3
    This short poem could be summarized in the words “Childlike trust”.

    (1) Humble
    Realistic (avoiding things I shouldn’t get involved with anyway. I don’t have the answers but I know the One who does) 😀

    (2) Composed
    Quiet on the inside
    Now — and always.

    I remembered while I was driving Saturday that Benjamin Franklin aspired to 13 virtues and devised a means to bring them to maturity in his life. I’m going to review those as well. There may be something I can adapt from his approach.

    Phil —

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