Galations 6:7-10. I have to admit that I’ve taken to the notion of creating resolutions for myself as a new year approaches; it’s kind of funny, and oddly pathetic, that the tossing of a simple calendar somehow signifies a chance for a fresh start in one’s life. Still, there is in January a convenient starting point for the measurement of change. (“I resolved to change my appearance. Look: since the first of the year I’ve become quite a bit fatter, and so I’ve had to buy new clothes. Success!”). Resolutions are all about self-improvement; I take this to mean improvement of my existence. After all, if my life isn’t any better for it, what good is a resolution? For that matter, if my life isn’t any better for your resolutions, what good are they, either? Sadly, I likely can’t compel most of you to improve yourselves for my benefit, so I’ll stick to those things whose influences directly affect my well-being and whose courses I can reasonably expect to change in my favor. To this end, I declare the following resolutions for 2013: Galations 6:7-10.
1) I resolve to lose some weight. Assuming my life’s about to get better, I certainly want to be around for it. Begrudgingly, I admit my substantial girth could begin to eat away at the quality of my later years; then again, they are the last ones and logic dictates they’ll likely be the worst, at least physically. Still, I have often thought how fun it’ll be to be the funny, cantankerous old coot of the family. (Some would argue I already am). Finally, my innate sense of crudeness and impropriety can billow forth, like bats from a cave at dusk, under the full protection of advanced age. In this there is something to live for; I’m going to eat a little better, move around a little more, so that I can take in all that old age has to give.
2) I resolve to have more fun. I bet I didn’t play golf ten times this year. Though I’d probably kill someone if I played every day, once a week or so would be fun. I deserve it. It seems like I’m always doing things that I don’t want to, or letting others dictate how I spend my time. Well, no more. I could get hit by a meat truck tomorrow. If I do, I want to be able to grab a few sausages and scarf them down while I’m laying there, without someone always scolding me about bad choices. Life is for living, and that’s what I’m gonna do.
3) I’m going to treat myself better. From now on, if there’s something I want, I’m going to get it. I deserve a treat now and then. I could get hit by a meat truck tomorrow. What would years of living within my means, of fiscal restraint, have done for me then? There’s things I want to do, stuff I want to see. If I wait until I can afford it, I might not ever do it. Touring Ireland in a diaper won’t be as fun. Going to sleep at 7:30 in a Vienna hotel sounds lame. Sure, someone else may have to do without, but that’s someone else.
Galations 6:7-10. Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
4) I resolve to be a better man.I may have overstated the inherent selfishness in my prior resolutions, but only to a point; each of them, in some roughly congruent form, were on my mind. None of them would improve anyone’s life but my own. At church this past Sunday, these verses were of central focus. If I resolve to improve my relationships with others, to sow seeds of faith by example and by works, and to try to reinforce faith among the faithful, I can favorably affect the lives of many in addition to my own. Even better, I won’t have to worry about the last years of my life, because I’ll have it everlasting. I’m still going to try to lose some weight, though, if only so I can stick around long enough to enjoy what I already have, and to see what else He has in store for me and for those I love.