Friday, December 31, 2010
Resolved without Resolutions
The resolutions have begun! As the ups and downs of 2010 are remembered, the victories are celebrated while the losses and setbacks are lamented. Many will vow to do better and be better in areas in need of improvement or even outright change. Yet, by the end of the first quarter, many of the promises made will have quietly disappeared from view and patterns of living will proceed unchanged from the year last lived.
It’s not my aim to discourage anyone who takes the time to make New Year’s resolutions – it is always a noble thought to strive to be a better person or to desire to improve some area of life. I do want to encourage those of us who may tend to “go through the motions” of making resolutions we have no real intentions of keeping to take advantage of the changing of the calendar by engaging in a more meaningful and doable exercise.
In the 90th Psalm, titled “A Psalm of Moses, the man of God” the author delivers a prayer that offers a simple guide for reflection that is very appropriate for the beginning of a new year. The prayer asks, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” None of us can guarantee the content of our tomorrows. We make plans that can evaporate into irrelevance when our circumstances unexpectedly change. A well thought-out plan for self-improvement can reasonably be relegated to the “back burner” of our daily priorities when a matter of extreme importance arises that calls for our immediate and undivided attention. However, obtaining the wisdom to navigate the uncertainties and manage the goals and aspirations in the ever-changing landscape of daily living is a priority that is never misplaced and always has the potential to bear fruit. Considering the words of the prayer of Psalm 90:12, remember that each day is precious. Make every day count. Don’t forgo telling friends and loved ones how you feel and allow opportunities to do good for others to pass you by with the thought, “I’ll get to it some other time.” The “other time” may not come. Also, seek to grow in wisdom and understanding each day. Learn from your mistakes and learn from your good decisions too. No experience need be counted as a total loss, when we allow that experience to add to our deposit of lifelong wisdom.
This year, be resolved to make everyday count for something good and seek to gain wisdom from every day you live. These truths may not be as “sexy” as New Year’s Resolutions, but they are much more applicable to the real situations you will encounter day in and day out. Do your best to put them to work this very day. Happy New Year and all God’s blessings on you as you continue on the journey! Until next time…