The Beginning Again

They will be all over facebook. All over the blogs. They’ll sprinkle conversations.

For the next couple of days all you will read and hear about is the new year’s resolutions. I’m going to eat better and exercise more. I’ll be kinder. I’ll be more frugal. I’m going to stay in touch with this person or that. I’ll read my Bible more. Pray more. The list can be endless…even if we’re just adding that we resolve to resolve nothing.

I tend to fall into that last category. Only out of cynical self reproach though. I have a tendency to get caught up in the glorious planning and fall woefully short in the follow through department either because my imagination is greater than my will, I’m actually lazier than I admit to, or because I just don’t think through it enough and actually resolve things that need resolving in my life. Like the times that I’ve resolved to eat better, exercise more, and loose twenty pounds when really what I needed to resolve is self discipline is sorely lacking in my life and that should change. And the honest painful truth of the matter is that if it’s missing in one area of my life it is probably missing in all areas of my life even if in varying degrees.

Or I say I want to pray more but I don’t really want to. I don’t want to understand prayer. I don’t want to pursue a prayerful life because that would mean studying His word more; knowing and praying His thoughts more and what if they don’t match up with mine? I just want God to hear me.

Really I’m not anti resolutions. The end of one thing and the beginning of another is a good time to contemplate where you’ve been, who’ve you been, where you want to go and who you want to be. I think, however, as CS Lewis says, we’re content with too little. We resolve too little. We’re only willing to die a little to find a little life.

I started 2013 contemplating time and this is what I learned. We live the life we create. We reap what we sow. We live the life we have cultivated and nurtured, weeds and all. Look around you. Look at your life. What are you frustrated over? What pains you? What thorn pricks your side? Now look past that. Dig down and follow the stem down into the dirt and look for the root. For me at least, that usually reveals something I did or didn’t do. Some sin or behavior that I didn’t till up, either in my own life or the life of those around me.

Oh, that will give us pause won’t it? The sin of someone else’s life? I’m supposed to dig around in their dirt? If we’re truly living in community than the answer is yes. A true friend is an enemy to your sin, a true friend is an enemy to my sin. But we don’t want to go into the garden of our friend’s heart anymore than we want to go into our own and do weed pulling. Because that is an open invitation for them to enter our garden. To take a hoe and turn up the soil of our own sin that we’ve neatly patted down and planted a few short rooted flowers over so our lives look all manicured and well tended.

I’m ending the year meditating on wisdom. I want to study wisdom, and what the Bible says about it, in the coming year. But I don’t just want to know about wisdom. I want to pursue her. I want to answer her call. I want to have her as my sister and find in her a treasure greater than gold or silver or pearls.

So what is my resolution? What do I want from this shiny new beginning that starts on January 1st?  I want Lady Wisdom to grasp my hand and introduce me to insight and understanding. I want to move out of the shallows of my own wisdom and understanding and go deeper, to something beyond myself. To Someone who says that death, all the way living death, brings more Life than I can possibly imagine.

Titus 2 Tuesday


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