Monday, December 31, 2012

A Thought

It has been said, “One who breaks a [New Year’s] resolution is a weakling; one who makes a [New Year’s] resolution is a fool”.  I've often wondered why we have such a time-honored tradition in making resolutions or, more significantly, why we wait until the end of the year to make them.  This may be the first indication that New Year’s resolutions are doomed to failure before they've even had a chance; that we would resolve to wait until the end of the year before we make any significant changes in our lives could mean we don’t take seriously our need to change.

Most resolutions are noble and good; give more and take less, quit smoking (or drinking or overeating).  In other words, we take an inventory of our lives and decide where we need to improve, but we are less resolute about when this improvement should take place.  Acknowledging our short-comings, however, is part of an often painful spiritual process that should be a part of our daily prayer life; think of it as the Lord’s “refiner’s fire” (“If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged”, 1 Corinthians 11:31) .  Reflecting on these things while speaking to and listening for the Holy Spirit is how we come to more fully understand our need not necessarily to change but to always evaluate because everything we do (good AND bad) is a direct reflection of our faith.

If there is one resolution worth making, it is to resolve to look more deeply and critically at our own lives (rather than the lives of others) daily in prayer and consider how our Lord looks to others through us; and if we identify an area of our life that needs to change, change it right then and there!  If we would worry more about how our Lord is reflected in our lives and less about whether we need to lose weight, the other things within us that need to change will change as we resolve.  For instance, don’t think of overeating as bad for your health; rather think of overeating as “gluttonous” which is offensive to our Lord when we take for ourselves more than we need).  If we think of the weak areas of our lives in much broader terms than “me”, we might be more inclined to change for the sake of our relationship with our Lord.  I cannot help but to think that our relationship with the Lord will by such efforts become more of a genuine relationship!    

It is time much better spent, and the Church will be the stronger for it.


No comments: