This New Year is first time in I don’t know how long I’m making zero resolutions. I began to ask myself why that is, and realized a few things.
One, I’ve never really made sincere efforts at resolutions. If I’m honest, resolutions are more of an “everyone kinda sorta does them, shouldn’t I?” thing. So it’s no shock that they don’t stick or that I only half heartedly ever made them in the past.
But also, I was a bit sad to realize it’s because I pretty much only made resolutions related to dropping a jeans size. Over and over. Year after year.
Since everything I own is officially elastic waisted, and everything is on its way to bigger for the next several months, I think it’s safe to say that ain’t happening this year.
Hence, no resolutions.
And I love it.
Last week we were away on vacation and we didn’t watch TV or go online for the week. But we had lunch in one restaurant with TVs, and even a cursory glance up at them now and then pointed to the reality of pre-New Year’s ads. Without media, I nearly forgot how the advertising shifts on December 26 to be all about becoming your 2012 self. A thinner self, a non-smoking self, a no-longer-single self.
Whatever self it is you want to be in 2012, you can be that person with no enrollment fee for a limited time. And even if you can’t, you can follow the (9 part!) advice to fake that flawless look.
Maybe I made jean-size resolutions precisely because I don’t take the whole process all that seriously. So hey, why not go for a bit more exercise and a bit less dessert?
But there’s another reason I’ve never been big on resolutions. I want to be a content person. I want to make attitude choices that say, “Enough. More than enough.”
This is my real life.
Upstairs are my real linoleum bathroom floors. And they don’t even match each other.
In the garage are two cars that sport very real matching scratches on the passenger side front bumper because, despite my best efforts, I have parking trouble about every 18 months.
And I want to be ok with those things. Not just ok, but truly at peace with them. My real hips, and account balance, and ways my house does not look like the Pottery Barn catalog that came in the mail today.
Christians love Philippians 4:13, and for good reason. Who doesn’t draw comfort from being able to “do all things through Christ who strengthens me?” Why not put that on coaster? Or a poster? Or a decorative rug? Or a coffee mug?
(Sorry. We’ve started stocking up on Dr. Seuss for the babies.)
It may help us all, especially at the New Year, to remember what Paul was first discussing. While Christ certainly gives us strength to get through all of life’s circumstances, Paul is talking about money. Right before this wonderful phrase are these words, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
Christ is the secret to contentedness in the realities of our day to day. The self we are without Ordering Now!
We are always invited by God to change and grow as we become the best versions of ourselves. But I’m not so sure that looks much like the New Year’s Resolutions process. One is full of grace and the other is full of striving.
Content in 2012. Sounds good to me.