Why can’t I make resolutions?
Well, I can, I guess. Last year I resolved to read the Bible through in a year, which led me to spend my “quiet time” in December plowing through Revelations, skimming II Chronicles, and jogging past the book of John frantically so that I could say (to myself, of course, because one does not boast about one’s Bible reading), “I did it!”
I decided around December 28th that this was not Bible reading as God intended it, even though He is gracious to give us illumination and encouragement even from a cursory reading of His truth. But after my decison, instead of finding a passage and just sitting in it, meditating on it, I chunked the whole thing and just stopped reading. That is not Bible reading as God intended it either; so what do I do? I realized that I need a plan. I love lists and charts and plans. Which is why January 1 found me back in Genesis 1, Psalm 1, Matthew 1. I need a plan.
If I made New Year’s resolutions, I couldn’t just stop at one. There are too many things about myself that I would like to fix. Which to pick to work on? The truth is, I make New Year’s resolutions every night around 10:30, every week on Sunday evening…
tomorrow I will/this week I will:
use my time wisely,
get up and read my Bible,
finish all of the laundry,
change the light fixtures downstairs,
repaint the boys’ room,
install new hooks in the kids’ bathroom,
clean the bathroom,
plant my tulip bulbs,
make a quilt,
finish the scrapbook from 2008…
Let’s just say hypothetically, that this time, I do it. All of my tasks get done, I am a model of efficiency and cleanliness, I drop 4 dress sizes, and my friends beg me for advice and insight because of my obvious skill in all things domestic and womanly.
Who would not be impressed? I would dare to say that Jesus might not.
The problem with new year’s resolutions for me (and for most people) is that they are all about me. Me fixing me. Me focusing, unrelentingly, wholeheartedly, on me.
I do that enough already.
This year, I would like to resolve to love God and love my neighbor better. And even this resolution is made in vain if I do not bring it to my Father, who is the source of any and all good to be found in me.
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?