Studies tell us that most of us will fail to keep our New Year’s Resolutions (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/new-years-resolutions_n_6396324.html). While I am not familiar with the methodology behind the various studies, I am familiar with New Year Resolution Failure. In fact, I no longer make resolutions. I simply celebrate the anniversary of my previous resolutions. I have even begun to relate to my resolutions as old friends; companions on the way who drop in for a party about this time each year.
I am going to introduce you to a few of these old friends. For better or worse, these resolutions are the companions who persist.
- Stop biting my nails! Nails Resolution is the oldest of my friends, somewhere between 30 – 35 years old. He is my resident court jester. His presence at my table each January reminds me that I am not all I think I am, I cannot do all I think I can, and that habit is always stronger than will. I don’t like him very much, but he seems to enjoy me.
- Drink less coffee! I welcome Coffee Resolution each year for the sake of humor and the great joy. Indeed, he is my resident comedian. Coffee is a teenager, so he is as hormonal as he is humorous. His presence drips with irony these days given the fact that I have a mobile office which consists of all the local coffee shops.
- Get out of debt! Debt Resolution is my sage. While he is only in his 20’s, he is full of wisdom and wit and is the most patient and understanding of all my yearly companions. He takes a look deep into my soul each year and finds caves of frustration carved in mountains of joy.
- Refuse to worry when Melissa gets sick! Worry Resolution is the youngest of them all. He showed up sometime around 2009, just after Melissa’s bout with Lymphoma. I cannot bring myself to call him a friend, yet he knows me; deeply so. Worry Resolution doesn’t tolerate my happy face, and he represents my constant and most persistent failure. He is a dark cloud in an otherwise bright and vibrant horizon. I suspect we all have one of these guys lurking around in the dark corners of our private world.
Reflecting on these resolutions has unearthed a few questions:
- Why do I celebrate these four companions?
- What might these companions be attempting to teach me?
- Where are these companions taking me?
I celebrate these four because doing so provides opportunity to reaffirm my desire for growth in the year to come! Their presence has alerts me to false trust structures and exposes how easily I lean on and rely upon mechanisms which easily break down. My journey with them continues to lead me to places of discovery and joy often birthed in moments of pain, frustration and fear.
Years ago my quest to keep my resolutions was grounded in self improvement which required nonstop personal pep rallies through the year. Experiencing these resolutions as companions over time has begun to ground me in soul talk which is reliant upon surrender and wide spaces of silence and solitude.
This journey through the years, marked by My Annual Party Celebrating Old Companions, provides an opportunity to assess my own desire to surrender and establish consistent practices of Spiritual Rhythms that will move me toward my desires for more of Christ and less of me.
At the close of this year’s party I found myself pondering the following soul centered question: “O Lord, in the year to come, what will be requested OF me in order for you to flourish IN me?”
Disrupting the Old to Make Way for The New in 2015!