“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven .” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
A new year begins tomorrow, and with it comes a host of traditions from which you can choose how to observe it. You can go old-school and dine on pork and sauerkraut, or just chill with some hot wings and Doritos. You can party ’til dawn, or make a quiet toast to 2015 at eleven and then ring in the year by going to bed at a responsible hour. You can resolve to make things happen this year, by golly! – or you can assert your coolness and declare that this New Year’s Resolution stuff is sooo ten years ago.
Those who choose the latter option generally cite one of two major reasons for eschewing this age-old practice: (1) Making a resolution is a recipe for failure, as doing so guarantees that you will break it; or (2) Waiting until the new year to improve is for the weak-minded, since we should ALWAYS be striving to be better…and besides, a new year is just numbers on the calendar anyway. Frankly, I can see the logic in both arguments, and my resolution-making history is quite checkered due to consideration, at different stages in life, of both lines of reasoning.
A few years ago, though, I decided something: I am not too cool to make New Year’s resolutions.
First of all, I’m just not cool, and I’ve learned to embrace that. More importantly, however, I see value in using a set time each year to evaluate my approach to different aspects of life and identify where I need work. After all, we don’t reserve all our gratitude for Thanksgiving, but when November comes, we make a point of being more mindful of how we’ve been blessed. We (hopefully) express appreciation for our loved ones regularly, but when somebody’s birthday rolls around, we take time to make sure that person feels special and valued. If you follow Christ, you hold His birth, death, and resurrection close to your heart every day, but on Christmas and Easter, you set aside extra time to celebrate those events.
So I’m not giving up on New Year’s resolutions just yet. Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t made a lofty list of Twenty Things to Accomplish in the quest to become a New and Better Me (I did that once, and it tanked, largely because I misplaced the list)…but I do have one or two areas in which I have resolved to be more intentional. And for me, at least, a new year seems like the perfect time to start.