Your hearts must be fully committed to the LORD our God,
to live by his decrees and obey his commands.
1 Kings 8:61
Shannon. Shannon. SHANNON.
As I child I would get so lost in books I wouldn't even hear the sound of my own name being called. Today I still can engross myself in story, especially the kind that has twists, turns and a puzzle for me to ponder - one like National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage.
During one of my favorite scenes the hero, Ben Gates, breaks into the oval office to examine the famed Resolute desk. This presidential landmark has seated Presidents for over a hundred years. It was a gift from Queen Victoria to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880, fashioned entirely from timbers from an abandoned British vessel (The Resolute) which was salvaged in the United States by James Buddington and later returned to Britain.
Today is a day for resolutions. Whether you title them goals, commitments or dreams many of us will chart a course today for the coming year. The word resolution has the same root as the word resolute. Both mean firm in purpose or belief or steadfast.
I think the story behind our nation's resolute desk has a lot to teach us about New Year's resolutions. That ship failed or at least its captain did. It was commanded under Edward Belcher who abandoned it only 18 months after it was commissioned. Sometimes our commitments are like that.
We begin the year eating healthy and going to the gym but start consuming chocolate for breakfast by January 15th.
We spend the early weeks of the year joining together around the family dinner table only to abandon that plan for the convenience of fast food just a few short weeks later.
But the Resolute's story didn't end with its captain's abandonment. It went on to significant purpose. Thousands of official documents, laws and decrees have been signed on its timbers. It has buoyed the arms of Presidents at war. It has captured tears silently witnessed by its polish. It has born the weight of Presidential worry and decision.
This year as you pen your plans, I pray you remember the story of the Resolute. Weeks from now you may need to pick up your plans and rely anew on the Unchanging One who aims our hearts, plants our feet. He is our Resolute.
Many of you have inquired about the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts series I wrote in December. It will be available in its entirety (including the previously unpublished portions) as a free download later this month. I'll keep you posted!