Are you one of those people who has you put some thought to doing some things differently, and hopefully better, than last year? Each year about 50% of people make some sort of resolution to spend more time with our family. 66% of people make a resolution related to losing weight or getting fit. Millions of people this year are making the resolution to get out of debt. At the beginning of each year people resolve to start some good habits (like going to the gym or eating more vegetables) and to stop some bad habits (like “fill-in-the-blank”). In the first week of January people can be resolute about throwing away cigarettes or being nicer or getting
more sleep or getting more organized or helping others more than they did the year before.
We strive to make the coming year better because we know that last year we had some problems in our lives. We might realize that smoking is slowly killing us and so we’ve got to stop. Or perhaps we realize that we missed opportunities to do good deeds or that we were too selfish. We make New Year’s resolutions in order to bring solutions to last year’s problems. But it’s interesting to me that we don’t call them New Year’s “solutions.”
We call them “resolutions” because we want to resolutely solve our problems. But I think we have a problem with our resolute-ness! Our track record on keeping our resolutions is so poor, that perhaps we should call them “re” solutions. After all, the solution we planned out last year didn’t pan out and we have to do it all over again this year. We are reworking on our problem. We are readdressing our issues. After only 1 week, we fail 75% of the time to follow up on our resolutions. That means, that four days from today, by January 7, most of us will have already given up our resolve to once again solve our problems. We aren’t very resolute! By the end of January, 95% of all our resolutions will already be broken. It’s been said, “A new year is a chance to get a fresh start on some old habits.”
Perhaps you should try a new approach. Someone has compiled a top ten list of resolutions you can keep, that you can actually achieve. Perhaps this will help you succeed in the New Year. Here we go:
10. Read less
9. Put on at least 30 pounds
8. Stop exercising
7. Watch more TV
6. Procrastinate more
5. Work on your coach potato skills
4. Increase your debt load
3. Spend more time at work
2. Stop bringing lunch from home
1. Take up a new habit: maybe smoking!
We know that we need no resolve to mess up our lives even more. Problem-making comes easy for us. Problem-re-solving does not. So on the negative side of things, we keep making resolutions because we need solutions for our problems. But on the positive side of things, I believe we keep making resolutions because we were created problem-free and we truly want to live that way. We know that these problems we have aren’t right. We know within ourselves that our lives were created to be good. Even if we didn’t realize it, the underlying reason and passion for saying that we want to lose weight or we want to pay off these debts or we want to spend more time with some neglected children (our own!) is because we know somewhere down deep inside of ourselves that these are areas of our lives that aren’t where they are meant to be and we want them fixed because we were made to live problem-free. We were created to know joy and peace and love and security and good health and warmth of relationships and the awe and wonder of life. That’s why we keep trying re:solutions ~ because we truly want to live the way we were originally created to live.
We believe that God’s hands have made us and formed us. We were fashioned and created in a very good way. In His image, God created us, male and female. And the image of God is pretty darn good. Do you think God struggles with His life, with His image? Do you think God has a problem with chewing His finger nails and says, “Ah, I’ve got to stop this bad habit this year!” No, God doesn’t fall short of His own glory. There is not a situation or circumstance where God says, “Ah, I’ve really got to work on improving myself here.” God is complete within
himself. He is more than perfect. There is no room for betterment because God is as good as good gets. And we were made in his image. We were made to reflect who God is. We were formed and fashioned and created by his hands and endowed with the DNA of his glory. We were looking good and we were good looking. We were good together, male and female. Al Gore would have loved the convenient truth of it all because we were created in good relationship to this earth. We were good to creatures and creation. We were made free and
good by our God. In the beginning we didn’t need to make resolutions to resolve our problems.
But a lot has changed since then. Now, at the beginning of this year, our innocence has spoiled; our sins have been hidden; our nakedness has been shamed. This year, we need God to remake us. G.K. Chesterton said, “The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”
(next part tomorrow…)