Resolutions

Well Happy (much belated) New Year!

It’s now January 9th, and I’m laying here in bed still dressed in my “Sunday best” (which really doesn’t signify much since I practically wear my “Sunday best” every day), tucked under my down-comforter as I write this and watch the slush fall. It’s cold out and I feel crummy. But somehow on a Sunday it kind of feels good to just snuggle up and do as little as possible.
And yet here I am writing.
Oddly enough, it takes a “sick day” for me to buckle down and just write this post. Maybe it’s because what I’m going to write about is something I dread… something I kind of despise.

New Years Resolutions.

To be honest, I don’t know why I dislike them so much. I mean I am a total Type A, driven, goal-oriented person. You’d think that New Years Resolutions would be my thing… that the entire month of December I’d be evaluating and analyzing 2010 for it’s short-comings and “needs improvement” areas and I’d have my list all written out and ready to go come January 1st. And this assumption wouldn’t be entirely off base – I am, after all, my father’s daughter.
But what does “resolution” actually mean?

I looked it up online and found 6 different definitions along with their various permutations. My favorites (being a secret math/science geek) are:

“1 g: the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum.”

” 2 : the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation).”  

Of course these aren’t the ones that have to do with New Years. “Something that is resolved, or firmness and fixity of purpose.”

But are these resolutions people make really fixed? 
Me thinks they’re a fad. They’re a roller coaster. These “resolutions” raise you high with a sense of hope and expectation, but weeks or months later leave you down in the depths of despair. New Years has become like Valentines Day – an overly commercialize holiday that in the end only makes people feel worse. 

Cynical? Pessimistic? Sure sounds like it…
But in truth, this ranting and raving comes not from a pessimistic heart that believes people are “as is”, and a cynical attitude toward hope and life. On the contrary, the reason I so dislike resolutions is because I do believe people can change. I know it. I’ve experienced it. I’ve changed.
But change is hard. Really hard. Much harder than writing something down on a piece of paper like “drink 8 glasses of water a day,” or “lose 10lbs.” or “quit smoking.” And it’s much harder than the latest diet, supplement or media-endorsed fad would like you to believe.
Change – it requires time and an endless supply of patience, perseverance, endurance and grace. It requires the power of Christ. But how often do we want the “quick-fix”? I find I can be so results-oriented. I want instant-gratification. I’ll push so hard in my own strength only to fall flat on my face – my pride wounded (not necessarily a bad thing) and my heart hurting.
And yet like fine wine, or even just a really good stew, some of the greatest changes I’ve made and blessings I’ve received are those that require me to wait, require me to persevere and cause me to grow.

I want people to grow, not groan from falling on their face. I want people to be renewed and restored. I want people to be full of true hope, and not false expectations. I want “fixity of purpose” not fad.

So 2011… I resolve to make no resolutions, but only to work toward and focus on these three things:

  1. Give the Lord my first fruits… in everything.
  2. To really see people.
  3. To really need people.

So what are your non-resolutions for 2011? I have a feeling it’s going to be a very exciting year full of change… change for good.

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One thought on “Resolutions

  1. MARGO says:

    This year I have resolved to try to live each day with the goal to love like Christ. Love my husband, my children, family, friends, strangers, and yes, also myself (thats the hardest). I believe if I can live this way with this purpose, all other issues disappear. Thank you Jessika for the inspiration. Lots of Love, Margo

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