In creating New Year’s resolutions, students can learn two important principles:
- Without God’s light and love to help us see where we’re going, we’re like blind people trying to get somewhere;
- Reach for high goals, which bring confidence and trust in God’s power. As Dr. Martin Luther King observes: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase…just the next step.”
This lesson will help students realize both principles.
- Bag of candy kisses wrapped in silver or gold, enough for each child to have several
- Before class, place 10 candy kisses around the room in various places, mostly in plain sight, but some hidden behind things.
- Hide the bag of candy kisses.
- Turn out all the lights in the room and close blinds, making it as dark as possible.
- Seat students around a table to listen to you, and you sit at the head.
Turn on flashlight so you can read. This year, I’d like to do some amazing things.
- I’d like to lose all my extra pounds.
- I’d like to be able to run in a marathon, five miles at least!
- I’d like to read a book a week…that’s 52 books.
- I’d like to set a goal to clean my house every week and pick up every night so it never looks messy when company comes.
- I’d like to be available for homework every night so that my kids can get straight A’s.
How many of you think I can do all that? Shine the light around so you can see hands raised.
Guess what my goals were last year. Let them guess.
Actually my goals were pretty much the same last year. How many of those goals do you think I accomplished? Let them answer.
Think of it: If I had gotten all these goals last year, why would I be asking for them again this year?
I made some headway. For maybe six weeks I cleaned my house every week. I lost four pounds, but I gained it back. This year is different. This year…
Shine the light in your smiling face… I’m letting God lead me, rather than simply telling God what I want and waiting for Him to fall into MY plans.
Reaching your goals and dreams doesn’t happen over night. When you don’t get them one year, should you give up? No.
Failing at things can be a great opportunity in disguise. It can bring us closer to God. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
This year, I’m going to tell God what I want. But then, I’m going to do my best to determine what he wants. Does God want me to be a miserable failure? No.
According to 3 John 1:2, God wants us to prosper and be in good health. And the truth is that God works for the long-term. We work for the short term. I’d like to lose four pounds this week. God would like me to become the type of person who finds comfort in Him rather than food.
Which is the better goal? If I follow God’s plan, will I make my goal, too? Yes, and in a better way.
I would like to be able to run five miles in two weeks. God wants to work on my heart, my muscles, my lungs, my mindset, my faith. He wants to make sure I’m even more focused on my inner qualities than my appearance. If I follow God’s timing, will I make my own goal, too? Yes.
To set New Year’s goals we need patience, trust, and faith in God’s direction.
There are 10 pieces of candy hidden around this room. Don’t anyone get up yet.
Turn off the flashlight.
Who wants to try to find them all in the dark?
Turn on the flashlight.
Why bust around in the dark, when we have the Light of the World to help us?
We can set huge goals this year, so long as we are led by the Light. Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. You only have to see the next step…”
Shine the light on the floor where you are sure there is a candy kiss.
Let’s use the light of God to help us throughout this coming year. Let’s use the light now to find all the treasures and think of them like dreams for the New Year…
Let the students take the flashlight and use it to find the 10 pieces of candy. The light will reflect off the foil to help “illuminate” them. Tell students not to eat the kisses, but to bring it all back to the table.
Once everyone is seated…
Who would like to share the candy they found with those who found less? You may get some takers, but not many.
Isaiah 30:18 says, “The LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”
Here’s the greatest thing about God. When we follow Him, he gives us a LOT more than what we asked for…if we wait patiently for Him.
Take out the rest of the bag of candy kisses. Turn on the overhead lights, and pass out so that everyone has the same amount.
Serve with juice as a snack or snack supplement.