Go Against the Flow: The Anti-New Year Resolution

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I hate trendiness, especially when I find myself the one trending. At various times in my life I have vowed to never wear a biking outfit, use a cell phone, or participate in Facebook. Fortunately the picture of me Facebooking on my iPhone while mountain biking clad in a bike outfit has yet to surface. It would ruin my well-groomed image of myself as a rebel.
That refusal to go with the flow is the reason I no longer make New Year resolutions. Everybody makes them and then nobody keeps them. There is only one New Year resolution I’ve ever made that I kept.
Several years ago I resolved to never make New Year resolutions. I’ve been faithful in my resolve until now.
As you may know, I declared 2012 to be the year of living spiritually: a year where I will daily look for the ordinary, sometimes invisible to the naked eye, soul in life. Since I don’t make resolutions and I decided to start this on December 26, 2011, I didn’t realize it was a New Year resolution.
Then a friend of mine, Deirdre Bylery, who is joining in on this journey, wrote on our Facebook page, “Seems to me New Year resolutions are all ‘me’ focused — getting me skinnier, fitter, more successful etc. Even when it comes to God, it’s ‘how is God going to use ME?’ It’s like looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. Wouldn’t it be something if in 2012 the focus was the search for God, not myself?”
Great point, Deirdre. And too true.
And I never intended this to be a year-long experiment. Or a resolution, even if it is a better resolution than usual. I want to be changed into a person who–more often than not –is seeking God rather than myself. I want this to be how I live, not just something I do.
I am not satisfied with how casually I treat God and people and my world. How often I muddle through a day without truly seeing. I don’t want to be more successful but rather more real, human, spiritual.
And that’s the trouble. Resolutions are concrete. We at least know when we’ve broken them. It’s easy to measure the weight we haven’t lost, the success we haven’t gained, and the fitness we missed. But how does one measure being more real, more human, more spiritual? Maybe that’s what this is all about: just learning how to ask the questions and look for possible answers.
Eugene C. Scott is writing these God sightings down daily in a journal and invites you to see the spiritual and join him in looking for God sightings in 2012. Also tell your stories about what it’s like. Comment here and join our “Living Spiritually” community by visiting and liking facebook.com/livingspiritually. Eugene is co-pastor of The Neighborhood Church.

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