Question Your Resolution
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
It was a week after the start of 2013 and two men were talking about how their “New Year’s Resolutions” were fairing. One man said he has been losing weight since he started going to the gym, and has felt better after deciding to sleep 1 hour earlier ever night instead of staying up to watch TV. Then he asked his friend how his resolutions were. The other guy said, “well, after failing my resolutions in the first week of the new year for the past 10 years, this year I’ve resolved not to make any resolutions at all, and by the grace of God I’ve never been more successful!”
Isn’t it true that we usually focus on our resolutions the hardest in the first few weeks of the new year? We see more people going to (or enrolling in) a gym, less people in our office patio smoking, or plainly, people seem to be nicer shortly after the Christmas break. But as the month of January rolls over, we find ourselves slowly weaning out of those promises we make to ourselves (or to others). Why is that? I don’t understand the nature (or benefit) of a New Year’s Resolution because I can’t remember keeping myself on track for a whole year. I just forget about them by June and revert to my old ways.
Why is that?
Maybe because most of the resolutions I made were easy to break? Or maybe they were easy to forget? Maybe, they were resolutions I didn’t value enough to shed time and effort to keep (ie. daily trip to the gym or missing my favorite TV shows). Or maybe… it’s simply because I’m choosing the wrong resolutions to keep?
True, it is difficult to keep resolutions for a whole year. That is why it is simpler and advisable to make resolutions for a day, re-affirm them on the following day and the following day… In other words, it is far easier to take our resolutions one day at a time.
But also, and more importantly, New Year’s resolutions, or any-time-of-the-year resolutions for that matter, should cut deeper into our hearts when we realize that at the end of the year, we still remember doing them.
Resolutions should not be limited to the negative vices we need to drop, or the small things we need to change in order to make ourselves feel better at the end of the day. They must also extend to the positive virtues and attitude that we need to cultivate in order to be better Christians for the sake of our brethren and for God’s Greater Glory.
For some folks the best resolution is to strive to know Him better every year (read the Bible more, go to daily masses, be more understanding and forgiving of others, emulate Jesus’ other examples, etc.). Whatever makes them closer to our Lord.
As we celebrate the Year of Faith, we are called by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to “rediscover, and share with others the precious gift of Faith entrusted to the Church and the personal gift of faith that we have each received from God.”
This year, let us make it our resolution… our “aim to reclaim and proclaim the beauty of Jesus’ name and the dignity of our calling.” Make a special effort starting this year, no… starting this day, to show to the world our gratitude for being able to share in the name and in the life of Christ!
Let us be like the Magi who returned home another way (one who meets Jesus never returns to his old ways).
What will your NEW New Year’s Resolution be?
Lord, grant me the eyes to see You, the mind to understand You, and the heart to desire You — always and everywhere. Amen.