Though I was awake at midnight, I didn’t ring in the New Year joyfully. Instead, I listened to the fireworks going off around the neighborhood as I heard my husband breathing in sleep beside me, and I just wanted sleep, not celebration. It was a long time in coming. As I tossed and turned, I found myself musing on possible goals for this new year, but as I did, I found my mind filtering words to a praise song and trying to remember the pledges from my days in Girl Scouts and Royal Rangerettes.
It all seemed rather random, but when I awakened this morning to my husband’s alarm at 5 and found the thoughts still there, I thought I would try to make sense of them.
The praise song:
He Gave Me Beauty For Ashes
He gave me beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise
For the spirit of heaviness.
That we might be trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord
That He might be glorified.
The Girl Scout promise (from the 1974 handbook, which I still have on my bookshelf):
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God,
My country and mankind,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
The Royal Ranger pledge (which I know because my church included a female component of the usually male organization):
With God’s help, I will do my best
To serve God, my church, and my fellow man;
To live by the Ranger Code;
To make the Golden Rule my daily rule.
It still seems a bizarre compilation of thoughts, but what I see is a common theme: God first. The praise song is not only about what God does for me but why — that I might be a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. The Girl Scout promise declares I will give my best effort serving God before anything else. The Royal Ranger pledge indicates I need God’s help to do my best to serve God… and everything else follows in importance to that service to God.
Today, that is my New Year’s resolution: God first. I’m sure I have others, but if I get that first one right, the others will follow too.
Happy New Year!