New Years Resolutions: To Do or Not to Do

© Hanson Image, used with permission
Have done with lesser things. It's what keeps running through my mind as I make plans for 2012. The excerpt from William Merrill's, "Rise Up, O Men of God," first came to mind as I sat in church listening to the news about my friend, Kari Erickson. She had won the National Bible Bee and consequently, $100,000.

For the last year or two I was always excited to check up on her as we passed at church or various events and ask, "How's the memorizing coming?" I was never disappointed! Kari had focus. Almost always, after a little probing of mine, I'd learn that she was memorizing at least 20 verses a day. What better way can a youth invest in their life? God's Word never returns void. That's one of my favorite things about the Bible Bee - no matter who "wins", no one loses. Every verse of Scripture one memorizes is an investment in their life, and in the lives of those around them as that verse is applied to daily life.

This last summer, I was in a conversation with a friend about how sometimes, more important than the things we decide not to do, are the things we decide to do. For example, we may resolve that this next year, we will not watch a lot of movies or spend too much time on the internet. But if instead, we had resolved to pray for an hour and read 10 chapters in the Scriptures each day, we may accomplish both what we had wanted to do and what we wanted not to do. When Kari chose to memorize 20 verses a day, she was inadvertently deciding not to hang out at her friend's houses every time she wanted to, not to sleep in and not to waste her time. In doing the good, we won't have time for lesser things.

I don't want to be known by those around me as the girl who "doesn't smoke, doesn't drink and doesn't have a boyfriend (and hence, is really, really weird)." Christians should be known as doers of good things.

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!
William P. Merrill

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