One of the things Sara and I do each year is make resolutions. We don’t tell each other what they are. We write them down and put them into an envelope, seal it and file it. On New Year’s Eve we take out the envelope and reveal our resolutions, and hopefully celebrate our achievements. A couple of years ago, for some reason, we forgot to get those envelopes out and read them. But a few weeks ago I found mine while looking for something else in the file cabinet. Just out of curiosity I opened it up to see what my two year old resolutions were. To my surprise I discovered that I had actually done pretty well in living them out.
I share this because I know many of you might be considering making New Year’s Resolutions right now. And we all know that many of our resolutions don’t always last very long. Witness the surge in health club activities through January and maybe a little of February. Then the attendance tapers off.
We all have good intentions. But things get in the way. Heck, LIFE gets in the way. What I mean is we can make all the plans we want, create organizational systems and set goals, fill out our calendars and promise to do better. And then something happens that changes it all.
In an instant.
Two things I noticed about Jesus life are, 1) He never wavered from his primary mission of announcing the arrival of God’s reign. He did that in word and deed. He did that by challenging the conventional wisdom that enabled the clearly oppressive political and religious systems of his day. He carried out his mission to his death.
2) He was constantly being interrupted along the way. Every time he turned around he was being interrupted by some stranger, by his followers, by the sick and the outcast. He was interrupted and challenged by religious leaders who saw him as a threat.
Yet, in the end Jesus lived out his mission. Because he clearly knew what that mission was.
And so, as we enter into a new year my hope and prayer for you all is that whatever you do, whatever resolutions you might make, whatever dreams you might have for the year ahead you will be mindful of the things that will help you along the way.
First, be clear about what it is you intend to accomplish. Take the time to sort that out.
Second, write your intentions down. The reason I actually did pretty well with resolutions I forgot about was I had written them down. The simple act of writing helps our subconscious minds remember even when we don’t.
Third, don’t let interruptions get you down. They are part of your life journey. The fact that you have some clarity in purpose allows you to move beyond them.
Fourth, take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.
Fifth, trust the process. (That’s another way of saying you are clear about your goals)
And finally, Gabrielle Roth tells us that, "Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories or finding comfort in silence is where we experience the loss of soul. Dancing, singing storytelling and silence are the four universal healing salves.”
Here’s to a year filled with dancing and singing, enchanting stories and the comfort of silence. To a year of healing, and the truth about God that you are loved.
Shalom. Salaam. Paz. Peace.