Friday, January 1, 2010

Why I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions

I don't make New Year's Resolutions; I make daily ones. I got the idea from an old prophet.

In the Old Testament book of Lamentations (chapter three), Jeremiah is having one big pity party. He feels the pain of Israel's broken resolutions and is about to give up on everything and everybody, including himself and God (who Jeremiah is sure must be against him as well). Until...

     "But this I call to mind,
      and therefore I have hope:

      The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
      his mercies never come to an end;
      they are new every morning."

Suddenly poor old Jeremy remembers God's mercies (Hebrew, hesed), or covenant/steadfast love. At the end of the day--at the end of his rope, his hope--that is what remains. New mercy will be waiting in the morning, after his long, dark night of affliction.

From Jeremiah I learn that God's mercies are new every morning--not every year. That means if I fail at keeping my latest resolution, I get a fresh start within twenty-four hours.

Actually, I don't have to wait until the cock crows. I believe Jeremiah is simply telling us that God is abundantly merciful, always merciful, instantly merciful. When the apostle Paul told the Philippians to forget the past and reach for what lies ahead (chapter three), he meant the past--whether it's ten minutes, or ten years in the past. God's mercies--his hesed--means that my future is one fresh start after another, starting now. No failure of mine can interrupt "the steadfast love of the Lord."

So here goes. My New Day Resolutions:

Today I resolve to limit myself to one Lindt Truffle and no more.

I resolve to eat an unfulfilling-but-healthy apple.

I resolve to get outside and walk, unless it's in the single digits. Then I resolve to move to Florida.

I resolve to figure out what's for dinner by noon. I resolve to have it on the table by five (-ish). I resolve to smile sweetly and bite my tongue until it bleeds if they don't like what I make. I resolve to hire a cook.

I resolve to not raise my voice at the children.

I resolve to be a respectful, non-nagging wife.

I resolve to write a blog post (check).

I resolve to get myself in bed by ten o'clock so as to awaken tomorrow well before the kids do and enjoy an early morning tea with God.

I resolve to run into God's ready arms if I fail.

I resolve to listen when He tells me I am loved anyway, and that tomorrow will be a fresh start.