Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Years Resolutions

My coworker has kept his New Years resolution for the past several years. Several years ago he vowed never again to make another New Years resolution! Not a year goes by that I don't make at least one New Years Resolution. This year it was to exercise regularly by walking daily at least a half hour, to snack on less junk, to skip desserts, and in the end to lose at least thirty pounds of excess weight and several inches around my midsection. Also I was going to be more social and get out more.

So far this year I have gone cross country skiing once and out for a walk four times out of twenty two days. Some days there is too much snow and I don't have suitable boots. Some days it is too cold like today. Some days I can't use the treadmill because my sister is in her room or because I will wait until she is back in school or until she is done exams. I can't go out because I might meet a lion in the streets and be killed. I am just kidding about that last excuse, that excuse is from Proverbs talking about the ridiculous excuses a lazy person will make.

I haven't exactly been excelling at the less snacking either, and it shows because I haven't lost any significant weight. By liberal estimates I may have lost 2 pounds, but possibly not.

As far as being more social, I have skipped three Bible studies and gotten together with zero friends so far this year, unless you count the church social I attended.  I have had time however to read seven books and watch ten Due South episodes.

So my New Years Resolution is a failure so far, but perhaps I can make a January 22 Resolution. I do here-by resolve to stop making excuses and go for a walk at least five times a week for the next two weeks and to severely limit unhealthy snacking by keeping a food journal for the next two weeks! Then by February 5th I do here-by commit to reporting on my compliance with these resolutions and the resulting weight loss or gain.

My coworker's point is that you should make necessary changes in your life, but not because it is a New Years Eve. You should do it because it the healthy and wise thing for you to do and you don't have to wait for a new year. He has successfully quit two bad habits and started more than one healthy habit, so he should know.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Getting a life

There is an apt saying all men die, but not all men have truly lived. Sometimes I wonder if I am living a full life as defined by this world's standards, let alone if I am living a full life as defined by Christ. By the first measure, I am sadly lacking in independence, wealth, success, and coupledom. I am single, live with my parents and younger sister, over thirty, own an ancient car and may never own my own home. Although I have dabbled in the dating world, I haven't had a significant relationship or someone I would call my boyfriend ever. I am not sure if I will ever have a child. True, I am educated, am working as a professional in my chosen field, and I would be considered wealthy in the eyes of a significant portion of the world to whom owning a second pair of shoes is a sign of affluence. But definitely I come up lacking by Western standards.

Nevertheless I am a long way from where I have been, and from where I might still be. And I have learned some things from my journeys through the darkness of depression and the living hell of psychosis. I have grown in some ways and I have learned some wisdom. In my darkest times I have found God and found him to be faithful. It is in other times that I lose connection and muddle through life with and without God.

What about life to the full spoken of by Jesus in John 15? This life is not measured by the same standards. Wealth is not important, nor is worldly success, or marital status. Still living with your parents at the age some of your peers are celebrating ten years of marriage is less important than being lacking in love for others. It is important to be connected to Christ as your source of sustenance and life and to bear fruit fruit through the process of discipleship and growth, acts of service and life in the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control should be in evidence. So by this measure I am also lacking. 

But writing this has helped me see that however lacking my life may seem by any measure, there is an abundance of blessings in my life already. And however lacking in faith I may be, God remains faithful. So maybe in this new year I can get a life that overflows with gratitude and with grace. Maybe I can realize what is truly important and be grateful for the blessing of being alive to face another day, overtaken by the goodness and mercy of God.