The men Habakkuk made the discovery that it wasn't by raising but by lowering his material future expectations, that true happiness would follow. That even if the next chapter was filled with depressing words scribbled between the lines, such outcomes would not influence his emotions.
"Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls..."
Well, basically a future without food, money, safety, enjoyment, prestige or success. Basically facing death, starvation, sickness and pain. I suppose his expectations could not go lower than that.
And yet, he concludes, even if all the above happened:
"Yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation."
Why? How is that even possible?
Maybe it was because he understood that...
"God, the Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
I stare again at my New Year's Resolution mental list and suddenly the items stated one after the other have lost their importance. What would it matter to thread water at the creek, when I could be up on the mountain! What would it matter if the fig tree blossomed, if the vines had fruit, if the olive tree produced, if the fields gave food, if the flock multiplied, if the herd filled the stalls, but my strength rested on lower places?
A new year means the beginning of another round trip around the Sun. Not around itself. Not around the moon. Around the light. Around the source of life. Around something bigger, stronger and brighter.
The higher place cannot be climbed with degrees, a fit body or material possessions. The higher place requires different feet, a different walk, that moves up, that faces the light, the source of life, someone bigger, stronger and brighter.
And He is the only New Year's Resolution I really need.