I know: kind of cynical eh? But you know it’s true. Think about all the resolutions you’ve made over the years…all the habits you would break…all the new habits you would build.
Most of these New Years resolutions revolve around healthy lifestyle changes. Such changes are great, on their face. We should always strive to improve ourselves. Every gym looks forward to this time of year because people with the best intentions sign up for memberships that ultimately get little to no use. But, for some reason these new habits rarely stick and before you know it…we’re right back where we started. And this time with more junk, cluttering up our homes.
We make promises to friends that we’ll do better at keeping in touch. We begin with the best intentions. We might see an increase in communications for a while. Maybe a few more text messages. Maybe a few extra phone calls. Who knows…maybe even a few visits. Yet, even that fades and soon your distant relationships have settled into their usual patterns of indifference and neglect.
Maybe we want to improve our outlook in life? So, many of us make New Years resolutions declaring that in the coming year we will have a change in attitude. We’ll be more patient with family, friends and coworkers. We’ll be less occupied with our work and more concerned with our family relationships and personal wellbeing. We’ll be rid of road rage (if only…right!). But here too, the best laid plans of mice and men always seem to fall short. Before you know it, you’re right back into your typical cycle of unnecessarily long hours at the office and risking strain in the relationships of those you love.
With New Years Eve fast approaching, many of us will consider where we fell short in 2013 and what we wish to accomplish in 2014. But how do we keep from falling victim to that movement from New Years resolution to New Years apathy?
That New Years movement from resolution to apathy is not confined to our physical, emotional and relational conditions. It applies to our spiritual relationship as well. It plays out in our faith.
We’ll say that for New Years we will do better in our spiritual life. That we’ll pray more…that we’ll go to church more. Hopefully…we’ll say that our faith will mean more. Hopefully we’ll take stop of our spiritual life and see the areas in which we’ve come up short and superficial. Hopefully this New Years we’ll be able to cultivate a depth of faith worthy of the Gift given to us by God.
I mean, we have just come from celebrating the Incarnation of the Word of God…Christmas…when God the Word became flesh for our salvation. The celebration is meaningful for a little while, but there’s a reason we must continue to celebrate Christmas after Christmas…without end.
Before long, we will come down from our spiritual high. Before long we will return to our complacent, indifferent and apathetic faith.
So what will it take for this New Years to be different? What will it take for our faith and our praise to be deeper than superficial in this New Years? How will our praise be made pleasing to God?
That is the exploration of this sermon, and I appreciate your thoughts…