Time for a change?

Time for a change?
We are through Christmas weekend. No major dust ups with our family. Most are happy with what gifts they received. Many deep spiritual discussions were had.  All returned to their homes safely. Christmas 2021 was one for the record books in the Uthe household.
As our lives go, New Years is next. For many years when I was younger, this was just another reason to stay out late and do things that I ought not be doing. In recent years, I have barely been able to stay up long enough to watch the ball drop in New York - 11 PM here in South Dakota. This year I am taking my very best girl Sherri out for a New Years adventure. We are going to the historic South Dakota town of Deadwood. Even if I have to take a nap, I'm staying up to see 2022 in!
Each year people all around the globe make resolutions for the new year. These range from the simplest of things to the most outlandish. I would guess the resolution that is the most made is to get healthier/lose some weight. I fit into that category - I really need to lose 25 to 30 pounds. This is nothing new, at nearly 52, I still eat like a teenager: pizza, burgers, tater tots, and Ice cream are my 4 food groups.
This change that I need to make requires one ingredient: GRIT.  
Often, when we decide to make a change, we are all-in. We banish all sweets from our homes, stop buying potato chips, we turn the other way when we drive past an ice cream shop, those that eat salads do so until they are sick of eating them, we buy a gym membership, we set our alarm clocks so we will get out of bed earlier. None of these actions require grit.
This works for a while for me. Maybe for two weeks I can will myself from eating all of the foods that I love, but then I crack, and I find myself right back where I started a month into my big change. This is where the need for grit arises.
A few years ago, we started a men's group at Watertown Christian School on Friday mornings. Spending time with other Christian men was not new to me, but as we journeyed through our first year together, I made an observation. Men would join us because of struggles with their wives. They would join us because they were suffering from an addiction. Some were sent to us by their wives. Whatever their reason, they wanted change in their lives. 
Each time, these men's stories were just like mine. They needed or wanted change, and they were going to make a big change.  Sadly for all of us, sustained change never happens in big chunks. Rarely can we make a 180 degree change and make it stick. So as I prayed about this something was revealed to me: I am not the man that I once was. I am also not the man that I want to be. But after close self examination, I am changing, one or two degrees at a time. That revelation has given me the energy that I need to keep changing.
This is the grit that I speak about. The grind it out, never give up kinda grit. The grit to keep working at my change even when I cannot see progress. I've found that if I keep changing a little at a time, over time I have changed a lot.
Please know that I am hoping that whatever change that you want to make, you will be successful. I would recommend trying to make your change in smaller increments. Keep your eyes open to see the progress you are making, even if the progress seems small. 
In the end, we want change that is lasting, not just another failed attempt at quick change.
May God Bless you in 2022,


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