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Like probably millions of other people in the world, I made a New Year’s resolution to lose a little weight. I even found a weight loss plan I wanted to try and made sure I had the kinds of foods in my house that would help me on my journey. And for four weeks now, I’ve been meaning to start my new plan next Monday. For four Mondays.

And when each new week rolls around, I wake up and think, Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to start today. Oh. But I didn’t buy that cereal that I was supposed to get. Oh. Well. I guess I’ll have to write that down and … umm… I guess I’ll start next Monday.

Seriously? A box of cereal is keeping me from starting this resolution? Really?

I am one of the greatest excuse makers in the world.

We can talk about how ridiculous that is, and how I could have had something other than cereal for breakfast or how I should not confine myself to a specific diet and I would agree with you on all those things. But the bottom line is, if I want to find a way out – I can find an excuse. I’ve been making excuses for forty years now. I’m good at it.

Plans Fall Apart

And the excuses aren’t just about weight loss. I make them about exercise, about housekeeping, about when I’m going to start doing my taxes, about being more consistent with my prayer life and devotions, about spending more quality time with my husband and kids. The best laid plans… but when excuses come into the picture, then those plans fall apart.

Unfortunately, those excuses hurt me. They keep me from being the best self that the Lord created me to be.

One of Jesus’ parables always hits me squarely between the eyes. He tells of a great banquet where many are invited to celebrate. But as the RSVPs are returned, many excuses are made. Some of them sound legitimate, others not so much. When the man preparing the banquet heard this, he sent his servants out to invite anyone who would say yes and made the following pronouncement: “Not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet” (Luke 14:24).

Obviously, I don’t ever want to miss out on a great dinner, but so much more importantly, I don’t want to miss out on all that the Lord has for me because I’m making excuses. Instead, I want to say, “Lord, I don’t know how I’ll find the strength/confidence/time/discipline to follow through, but I am going to say YES and trust you can provide the rest.”

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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