The Rev. Janice Ford
The Church of the Reconciliation (Episcopal)
Each year at this time we hear people talk about New Year resolutions. Also typical each year is that three months hence, most of those resolutions are a distant memory.
The word “resolution,” which comes from the word “resolved,” has a connotation of having made a decision about something. If I am resolved to do such-and-such, what I’m really saying is that I’ve made a decision to do it. Decisions are important because they imply that a certain amount of discernment has taken place, and discernment implies that a good amount of thinking, research, and even prayer has taken place.
Perhaps the reason why we so often give up on our New Year resolutions is that we haven’t spent enough time in the discernment phase, so even though we say we are resolved to do such-and-such, we truly have not made a decision to do it. Without that firm decision, we are much more likely to fail. This is the difference between wanting to do something, and resolving to do it. There are plenty of things I want to do, but much fewer things I am resolved to do.
Typically, being resolved to do something will involve a change of behavior that involves sacrifice, self-discipline, and/or compromise. This is no easy task. We are creatures of habit who find change difficult. In order to accomplish change, we need help, and, as we all know, “Our help is in the name of the Lord.”
Asking for God’s help to make any change should begin in the discernment phase. We may know intellectually that we need to do a certain thing in order to be more physically or mentally healthy, but we need to actively ask God for the strength, stamina, self-discipline, and focus to “know it” on an even deeper level. We need God’s help to integrate this knowledge into our very being. Once that integration happens we are ready to move forward from discernment to resolution. In doing so, the likelihood of our success soars from minimal to very high.
This year, as we consider those resolutions we want to adopt in order to be more physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy and happy, let’s not just say the words in the hope that they will somehow magically come to pass. Instead, let’s spend a good bit of time discerning the details of our resolutions. Let’s invite God into the process. Rest assured God made a resolution to help us from the first moment of our creation. It’s a done deal.
- Friday, 30 December 2011
- Posted in Categories: : Religion