Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Back in 1973, one of my brother-in-laws playfully announced that his resolution was going to be the same as always: “More in ’74.” When I asked, “More what?” he responded, “Eat more popcorn, of course.” Forty-three years later, I’ve found that my resolutions are often alarmingly similar from year to year. “More in ’74 (or 2017)” is about right, but that’s more exercise not popcorn, and the second one is like unto it: “Eat less” (of everything). Alan was lamenting to one of our sons about our inability to maintain proper dietary and exercise routines, but our son consoled us, “Yes, but just think about what you might be like if you didn’t even try!” True enough. As discouraging as it is to be striving and never succeeding at maintaining a truly svelte body, there’s something to the striving that helps. So, I’m going to keep making my resolutions and “keep on keepin’ on” as I was encouraged to do at my alma mater. By the way, even though the first thing that usually pops into my brain when I’m examining my life is how I look on the outside, there’s something of infinitely more importance, and that’s how I’m doing on the inside. We humans are body, soul, and spirit…emotions, will, mind, heart…How am I doing at loving the Lord above all else? At loving others as I love myself? At growing in my spirit?
As we examine our lives this New Year’s Eve, I pray we’re inspired by these verses from Philippians 3:7-11: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.“