Resolutions

‘Tis the season for new year’s resolutions. Maybe I’m more tuned in than in years past, but everywhere I look I see commentary about making and breaking new year’s resolutions. I’ve seen thoughtful encouragement to adopt a one-word resolution to serve as a focus area, cartoons about resolutions being a to do list for the first week of January or being recycled year after year, and much in between. For my part, I tend to think of new year’s resolutions as course corrections.

No matter the goal, we all need course corrections.  And we need them continually, even when we know our life direction and have a plan for getting there.  The last post described sailing in a fog as a real life metaphor for navigating life, and it acknowledges that sticking to a plan is hard.  Anyone experienced with weight loss resolutions can tell you that.  As if steering the course were not challenging enough, changing conditions can interfere with the journey we planned.  What was intended as a short sail across a sound looks completely different when the wind dies and fog rolls in.  Adroit navigators stay alert to their location, heading, and conditions at all times.  They make frequent adjustments to stay on course to the intended destination.  At times, one’s course may need only a few degrees of adjustment.  Other times, we may need a total turn-around.  How do we know which we need?

I say forget about resolving to lose weight, to work longer (or shorter) hours, or to put more money away for retirement.  Instead, assess where you stand with God.  It seems that much of what is going on in our lives reflects, or flows from, what is going on in our spiritual lives.  Maybe I overeat while the real nourishment I crave is divine sustenance.  Maybe exercising discipline to make time to be present to God every day would strengthen my discipline for other self-improvement actions.  Maybe rearranging my priorities to put God in the center will allow other desires to fall away effortlessly.

This past year my study group read Finding Our Way Again, and in it Brian McLaren outlines a useful exercise that can be adapted for use here.  Fill in the blanks:

  1. 10 years ago, my relationship with God was more______ and less _____.
  2. 1 year ago, my relationship with God was more______ and less _____.
  3. In 5 years, my relationship with God will be more______ and less _____.

Of course, this exercise can be applied to any relationship or personal attribute, but I would suggest starting with God.  Allow yourself to feel where there are tensions are in your relationship and perhaps where connections are loose or missing.  Think about what you want that relationship to be like and the adjustments needed to make it so.  Ponder how God is present to you and how you want to respond to him.

Join the conversation.  Is there forgiveness you need to receive or to extend?

Copyright 2011 Stephanie Walker All rights reserved.  Visit http://www.AcrossTraditions.com.

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6 thoughts on “Resolutions

  1. Pingback: Veering Off | Across Traditions Blog

  2. ”Is there forgiveness you need to receive or extend?”

    Funny thing about forgiveness..it is even more healing and fulfilling..Releasing if you will to the forgiver as it is to the receiver. I think pretty much ALL people need to extend forgiveness somewhere.. if we are honest with ourselves. Even when we do forgive.. how often do we take it back? Quite often I am afraid. Now children and animals forgive so easily.. they do not hold grudges..but people ( adults) yeah.. we like to keep records don’t we?

    I once read that the definition of true forgiveness, is to no longer see the other person as wrong! Wow! I mean if I didn’t think that they were wrong to begin with, I wouldn’t have a need to forgive them right? but now if I have to no longer believe that they are wrong.. well that puts a whole new spin on forgiveness doesn’t it? When God forgives us.. he wipes the slate clean..the bible says it’s as if the sin had never been…yep.. that pretty much says.. I am not wrong.. I have a completely new beginning. I think that’s the forgiveness that God want’s from us as well. To wipe the slate clean towards our brother.. as if the infraction had never been…as if they had never wronged us!

    Now who do you need to forgive or to receive forgiveness from? Your parents? your best friend? your spouse? yes we do like to keep a running tally on our spouse don’t we? time to wipe that slate clean. Ask God to give you a good eraser! (;-)

  3. Pingback: Forgive and Forget: Two Views | Across Traditions Blog

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