Friday, January 4, 2013

And Here is Where I Wrestle with Resolutions

I made it back into the gym this morning and I was shocked to see the parking lot so full. Then I remembered the high of the new year—the sense of worth and fulfillment brought forth with the onset of January 1st. It's almost a ceremonial cleansing of sorts. The past is washed away and we press onward towards self-betterment or something of the sort. I can see us walking around all gowned in white and feeling new.

I think the New Year drives us away from the birth we just celebrated.  

I think it empowers us—merely to seek strength within ourselves. To do better and be better and not look back. And somehow, I fall for it again. I want to eat healthier. I want to fit into those old jeans. I want to actually finish my read the bible in a year plan this time around. I want to save more and spend less. I want to memorize a book of the bible. I want to love my mom better. I want to meet my husband.

I actually found myself sitting to make a goal list like last year. I even coated them in holiness and set them high by throwing in a few about my walk with Christ. But then a couple days in, I find myself worshiping this idol of working all the while forgetting to be set free by the birth and hopeful in the trumpets that will someday sound.

And sometimes, I really am my own worst enemy.

Here I am more concerned with crossing off those thirty minutes on the treadmill this morning as I walk out the door, that I don't even know which lady was standing behind the counter at the gym today—nor did I smile. I go to bed wondering where I put my read the bible in a year plan, so frustrated that I decide I can't even open the word without it, as if having it could amp up the holiness of the book or something. And a couple days into it, I find myself a couple days behind. Welp, there goes my year. It's like these resolutions make me forget how to use my brain.

I forget that the law is but a shadow and these resolutions don't atone for sin.

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 
Heb. 10:1-4

Honorable pursuits at times and yet I think we make the new year too much about us and these resolutions just feed it. And I think that's why we fail. Give it a month or two or three and the gym parking lot won't be quite so full before the sun wakes. And at some point, the excuses fade and we are met with defeat. I guess I just don't want to step into what I foresee coming just because it's the norm. And right or wrong, I think God is being honored more in steadfastness no matter what time the year then in the heights of new beginnings and depths of goals unfilled. I think He wants to teach me that because I suck at it.

Contrary to popular belief, historically the rate of suicides rise in late spring and early summer. This is very much a stretch I am not qualified to make, and yet something to ponder—I wonder how the self-defeat and failure of such resolutions by the end of spring going into summer might impact such an increase?

As the white robes of a new year spoil in soot and lose their glorywhat are we left with? Ourselves?

Knowledge beyond a few reliable google finds, is not mine to claim, and yet there is this time from celebration of the birth to the resurrection season and somewhere in between in which perhaps we lose hope enough to remember He is risen. I would say from experience adding this failure to meet goals and this hum of inadequacy in which we all hear, perhaps the pit of darkness just isn't that far of a slide for any of us anyhow.

If I'm left with myself I'm sure to end up down there sooner rather then later.

And this is why I just can't enter another year hoping in anything or anyone but Christ. In birth and resurrection and trumpets blaring, He was and is and is to come—the only sure promise in my life. 

So, my resolve for the new year is to avoid self-defeating resolutions. Even for the mere sake of avoiding being my own worst enemy.

And maybe, by the time April rolls around I will remember the resurrection rather then a long list of boxes unchecked and goals unmet. Maybe then I will hope only in Christ risen that He might return, rather then perish in worth faded and failures strung long. 

Maybe the birth and resurrection are actually enough. Maybe we don't need resolutions in-between. Maybe we just remember the birth and the resurrection and we fix our eyes on the author and perfecter because resolutions or not—His promises are true.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Heb. 10:19-23

And this is why PROMISE is my word this year.

And this is my sense of humor...

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