New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014! Several days ago we entered into a new year. We celebrated the year past and looked ahead. I’m guessing that almost everyone has either been asked by someone or has asked someone else what their New Year’s resolutions are. And, most of us have probably at least thought about what we might change or do better as we enter another year. We often think about the year passed and set goals for the next year, most of the time these goals/resolutions are very personal. They include managing finances better, losing weight, working out, eating better, spending more time with family, or quitting an addiction. We work really hard for a few days, maybe even a week or two, and then these resolutions become harder and harder to continue. We give ourselves a break for a day, then two, then three and suddenly we are no longer in the routine. Occasionally we will ask someone else to join us in the same resolution because we know they will help make us accountable; someone to walk with, or a group to diet with, or our family holding our feet to the fire. And guess what, it helps when someone else is counting on us being at the gym at 6:00am or at the weight watchers meeting, or the AA meeting.

So what would it look like if our resolutions included others right away? What if other people depended on us? What if our New Year’s resolutions, as Chesterton stated were, “that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.” What would that look like? Jim Wallis shared five spiritual resolutions for 2014 in his January 2nd blog. 

1. Return to the gospel. Gordon Cosby, the founder and pastor of The Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. passed away in early 2013. Gordon said, “The warning of Jesus is being ignored. The warning is against what is the dominant consciousness now. What constitutes a good life, a successful life in our culture is exactly the opposite of that to which Jesus calls us. If one is successful in the world’s sense then the very things we boast about are signs of our failure.” Success for Christians is always returning to the gospel that turns the world upside down.

2. Find the courage to preach the gospel. Will Campbell, the iconic southern preacher and writer also passed this year. Will was often described as “provocative” for his courage to believe, preach, and act upon the gospel. 

3. Never forget the hope of the gospel. The whole world felt the passing of Nelson Mandela. “It always seems impossible until it is done.” said Mandela. I have never been in the presence of a leader with more moral authority than Nelson Mandela, and he showed me the meaning of my best quote, “Hope is believing, in spite of the evidence, and then watching the evidence change.”

4. Remember that gratitude is the best response to the gospel. When I got the diagnosis of prostate cancer, my first very human response was “why me and why now?” But after finally accepting what was happening to me, being loved by my family, prayed for by my friends, and cared for by my wonderful doctors the frustration and denial turned to gratitude.

5. Smile and laugh more often. Gratitude, humility, and fun can make us more human as we try to make the world more human. I want to increasingly learn to enjoy the world while trying to change it. And perhaps doing both makes God smile too.

I share Wallis’s resolutions to help all of us think about spiritual resolutions that are not only personal, but could, and will if successful, make a difference in other people’s lives. There are many of our brothers and sisters who depend on the spiritual resolutions we make and keep. How would a new soul, nose, feet, backbone, ears, and eyes help us to see the world differently? ~ Eldonna Hazen



Posted on January 7, 2014 at 11:38 am in Featured Content.

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