Monday, January 02, 2006

January 1

A new post in 2006.
In 2006 I do not resolve to be a better blogger, for I don't think that is a very good goal for the year, nor do I pretend I can do a better job. My posting tends to be sporadic, and usually good intentions of writing ideas are never actualized.

But how about some comments on those end-of-year traditions.

  • Aside: I'm really into hyphens right now. Did you know that when you take a noun phrase and make it into an adjective [which, by the way, is one of my favorite things about the English language--how you can change parts of speech around (that was a dash)] that you should use hyphens between those nouns-turned-to-adjectives? I don't know how to explain why I used hyphens on that last noun-phrase-ish thing.
making resolutions and thinking about the old year, and the next year coming
I have mixed feelings about it all. I usually go through a general rebellion about the idea of having resolutions, and the reason is two fold. One, I am skeptical about my ability to keep them, and I hate making promises I'm not sure I can keep. Two, I usually can't think of a good one that I can keep and is worthy of doing, and I don't want to just join the bandwagon. But, this time, I have one.

My resolution is to be better with my quiet time, and let me explain what I mean by it. I'm not making stipulations about when and where and how long, because I know those sorts of things don't last long, and I don't want to be legalistic about it. But I have established something that I think is important, and here is where it lies: When I haven't had good time with God, just me alone, then I cannot be a good friend. I cannot give when they need, and I cannot lead where God would like me to direct, change, influence. And so then, how am I to reflect God, to advance the kingdom? So, I resolve to be better at having my quiet time--making it a priority over being with friends. Not letting myself go hang out when I need to have God time. And this goes for both good-one-on-one coffeeshop talks, and also for fun group gatherings. Because in all cases I should be an instrument of God, using my spiritual gifts to bring glory to God in what we are doing and what we are saying. So that is what I've been convicted of lately, and since it's that time for turning a new leaf, I shall call it a new year resolution.

On the other hand, this is also a time for looking back and looking forward, and this I have always liked to do. I once started writing letters to myself in the future, and it is always entertaining, and a neat exercise. It's fascinating to me to recollect exactly what I was doing on such and such day last year, and how different my mindset was then. I tend to do this around more monumental times. Like this November I was thinking about how last November I just moved into the house at Stonecliff. Or birthdays and the beginning and end of the school year are also good times to do it.

But, here's my final, general point. The things that we designate to do at New Year's are good things to do all the time. We should always be reflective about where we are and where we need to improve and how we will work on it. It is healthy to look back on how you have changed and seen God's hand at work again and again. It's exciting to take the realization that unexpected things happened, and unexpected things will keep happening. In the past I have had feelings of rebellion against these sorts of traditions, and certainly we could enumerate ways the traditions have been misused and the focus is distorted. But I am resolving ;) not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Instead I am trying to recognize how they are beneficial. I want to see if I can be challenged and edified by making a resolution and reflecting on time going by.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Now that it is the new year, I suppose it is time for me to post a comment on your blog. I appreciate what you said about spending time with God over time with friends, sadly quiet times are often "rescheduled" when fun with friends comes about, but thanks for the challenge and the reminder to make that time a priority, regardless of what the social activity may be. Thanks for posting, I've enjoyed the blog thus far!