As we come toward the end of another January, I find myself preoccupied with a certain question:
How y'all doing on those New Year's resolutions?
Each year, billions must be made - I will exercise more; I will eat less; I will go to church more often; I will be a better friend; I will learn to play the tuba; I will start writing my book; I will be a vegetarian, take up yoga, run with the bulls, swim with the dolphins, study ancient Native American macrame. ... You can see where I'm going.
Many times, though, if I ask someone what their resolutions are, they tell me that they don't bother to make them - mainly because they never have stuck to them in the first place. In a sense, it's "too-hard-don't-try." I myself have been guilty of this at times. After all, pledging to give up the Funions and grape soda, only to find myself going on a binge in early February, can lead a man into - well - more Funions and grape soda. It's a lot easier to remain as I am.
However, I still think there is a value to making resolutions each year. We need them, in some way, to help ourselves to grow. Unless we are "practically perfect in every way," like Mary Poppins, we all have room for such growth.
Cardinal Newman once said that "to be human is to change; to be perfect is to have changed often." In assessing our current life and making resolutions, we are recognizing that we have the capacity to improve - to become better - even perfect. To be perfect is to be perfect-ed, and to be perfected means to allow something or someone to act on you to effect that perfection.
Going into this year, we recognize that none of us is perfect - yet. However, there is One who is ready and able to start that work again in us, all we have to do is resolve to cooperate.
Now, where's my yoga mat?