“Let your word be “Yes, Yes” or “No, No”; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:37
So, it’s been a little over a month since the New Year began with grandiose resolutions. Still got resolve? Well, if you are anything like me, your resolve has started to dissolve.
When I think of past New Year’s resolutions, it seems as if those that have actually stuck are the small, but concrete, ones made with one loftier objective in mind. Like the January 1st that I banned white sandwich bread from the house in order to do just one thing toward the bigger objective of healthier eating habits. I think that was around the turn of the 21st century, and we have never gone back.
Resolve is really an offshoot of the virtue of discipline, and the most useful definition of discipline that I have ever heard is this one: “Discipline is remembering what you really want.” That little saying has helped me like no other in not letting my “Nos” dissolve into “Yeses” and vice versa.
These days when I reach for the white bread or other sweets, I don’t chasten myself with, “Now, Heidi, what did you resolve to do on January 1st?” Instead I openly check myself with simple appeal to a higher calling, “So, Heidi. Will eating that help you to live long enough to enjoy your grandchildren?” Making smaller, more concrete resolutions which support larger, loftier objectives really helps me keep my resolve, even when faced with delicious carbs.
Lucky for all of us, the Church has made it really easy for us to rescue our possibly dissolving New Year’s resolutions during a little thing called Lent.
Questions to ponder in your prayer time: What did you really want when you chose this year’s New Year’s resolution? Better health? Improved relationships? Stronger faith? As we approach Lent, would it help to rethink your New Year’s resolutions and perhaps merge them into one, concrete act of penance that supports a larger, loftier spiritual objective?
Copyright 2016 Heidi Bratton