There is something about January and a new year spread out before us that makes people want to make changes. My blank calendar will soon be filled with, well, LIFE. What will we do this year? How will our days be spent? Spent is an accurate description. Used up, gone forever. What will be written on these blank pages?
I've made resolutions before. Many times they have to do with health. Eat more good food. Exercise more. This year I was reading an article by Andree Seu in World Magazine. It is titled "The Pilgrim's Progress: Three wishes and ways for moving forward in the new year." I have been pondering her suggestions.
1) "Pray to have friends (at least one) who have more faith than you do." Done. I do. Accountability in our Christian walk is crucial. I need a breathing, living example to emulate that shows me how to live out my faith. But am I always honest with her about my struggles? There can be no accountability without transparency in our relationships.
2) "Get rid of everything doubtful in your life." Questionable entertainment. Books that suck the life out of you rather than bring hope or enlightenment. Conversations not worthy of participation. You know when you've crossed into the gray area. "Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit." II Corinthians 7:1.
3) "Mastery of the tongue. Speak slowly, put on a filter, let out no lie." Oh, that's a tough one. Long ago I memorized James 3 because my words have always been my downfall. "The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity...If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man." I am far from perfect, especially in light of my words. As a mom, I am especially distressed by my "tongue lashings." These hurt as much as a physical beating. I need to serve my children with tenderness and gentleness.
So one of my resolutions this year is to be more faithful and diligent to follow the God I profess to know and love. I read today, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." I John 5:3. God gives us the strength (and the desire) to do what is right.
My other resolution is to "redeem the time." These days of 2011 will be spent, to be sure. But what will be left after we fill in the last day of the calendar in December? "Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom...satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days...let the favor of the Lord be upon us. Give permanence to the work of our hands." Psalm 90:12-17.