Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
A lot of people are talking about New Year’s resolutions this week. Most say that you should not consider them resolutions but a life style change. Also, that you should not try to do too many at once or you set yourself up for failure. Not only did I call my list of goals, resolutions, but I expect myself to accomplish a lot this year. Technically, I have sixteen resolutions although they are gathered under four headings. Here’s my defense. First, I chose to call my list what it is. Call them goals, life changes, or whatever; the word resolution comes from the word resolve which means to firmly determine to do something. I like that “firmly determine.” You can’t be wishy washy about this stuff. A friend sent me a Facebook photo with a picture of a little girl eating cotton candy. It said: Me- five minutes after deciding to eat no sugar. I don’t know why but to me, resolve, sounds stronger than decide. After all, resolved is used in legal and political documents, “Be it now resolved…” Goal sounds like something I will aim for, no matter if my aim is bad, I tried. It doesn’t have the decisiveness of resolved. As for the amount of resolutions, because my bottom line is to make Jesus my cornerstone this year, I chose to include anything that I turn to instead of Him. When I am stressed, I need to shop. When I am stressed, I need to eat something sweet. It is a need that rises out of my soul. It overtakes me, and I often satisfy it without thinking. The bag of M&Ms are eaten before my consciousness acknowledges that I am anxious and why. Setting the boundary of no sugar (i.e. candy), no dairy (i.e. ice cream), no gluten (i.e. cookies) helps me to reconsider putting something in my mouth. As for no shopping, I am in the very bad habit of expecting something new, whether it is clothes or books or something for the house, to make me feel better. It does, but only for a short period of time. That hunger will come back. I want to transfer that hunger to desiring more of Jesus. He is eternal. It is funny, no not funny…aggravating, that the ads for clothes and recipes for desserts on Facebook seem to have increased in the new year. Whether because of my resolutions or because of temptation, I don’t know. Cutting down on the amount of time I spend on Facebook is not only healthy physically and emotionally, but spiritually. And I am surprised to find that it is taking more resolve than giving up sugar. The only thing I have not been successful at this first five days of the new year is bike riding because the wind, rain and cold has kept me in the house. I hope to get back out there soon. I suppose I could go to the gym…no excuses, firmly determined. Yeah, right.