Having just experienced the holiday season knee-deep in food preparation and food gifts (what says love more than something from your oven?) and food consumption, I find it comical that we enter the new year with thoughts of how we can improve our lives. How we can make changes to become our better selves.
The beauty and wonder of the birth of Jesus, following on our national Thanksgiving holiday, is often expressed in shared meals and times of fellowship over food. Culturally, New Year’s Eve is a time of excess as well. So, when January 1st roles around, we all of a sudden develop a conscience?
This is exactly why I have issues with resolutions. It’s failure poised to pounce. It’s my good intentions becoming the snarky saboteur of my great expectations.
I stink at keeping resolutions.
They typically are repeats anyway of years past.
*Exercise more. Boring! And really hard to personally motivate myself day in and day out when it feels like it’s not doing any good anyway.
*Be more thoughtful towards others, especially family. I try. My mouth gets in the way. It’s usually engaged before the brain is.
*Take time to be with people I really care about. Which would be great if I could add an extra six hours to each day.
The excuses can and do come faster and more furiously each day. Frankly, it’s an area of creativity that I’m quite good at. Not proud of, but definitely something I’ve elevated to a fine art form.
I’m finding the best resolutions are the ones I avoid all together. If I don’t make them, I can’t break them. (Is that a title of a song? Should be.)
Fact of the matter is, I can’t make those drastic changes in my life. I want to, but I have no capacity to follow through faithfully. To sustain change over the long haul. I want to be better than I am now–I believe most of us want the same thing. But permanent change for the good–apart from divine intervention–is impossible.
God isn’t surprised by this. He knows me. Gets me, even better than I get myself. He didn’t leave me stranded with no hope of change. He provided an option.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a
I’m not a bad person. But I want to improve. Become the person my resolutions have painted as my dream. And I’ve tried.
But knowing that God works in and through me for those life improvements?
That’s not resolution. It’s a revelation.
First photo courtesy of diabetesmine.com.
Second photo courtesy of health.com.
Third photo courtesy of precisionnutrition.com.