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Friday, January 3, 2014

A New Year's Resolution

by Doug Wysockey-Johnson

I was thinking the other day about New Year’s resolutions. I’m not much of a fan, but it is hard not to get caught up in all the hoopla. Besides, who among us couldn’t come up with a few things we would like to improve on? Who wouldn’t like to exercise more, lose some pounds, or go to Italy? (As an aside, I would not recommend combining example #2 and #3.)

For the most part I avoid New Year’s resolutions. I’m all for change and self-improvement, but making a list in early January generally doesn’t get me there.

Then yesterday I happened upon this Psalm written from Eugene Peterson’s The Message: “My choice is you, God, first and only.” ( Ps. 16:5). Since then I have been wondering what it would mean to try to live those words in 2014.

I assume that my life will continue to be the rich stew of family, work, relationships, commitments, ups and downs that it has always been. But what might it look like if I let those decisions and actions flow from and out of my relationship with God? What if:
  • When money feels tight, I will choose God;
  • When I feel that there is not enough time to do all I need to do, I will choose God;
  • When I am confused about a decision at Lumunos, I will choose God;
  • When I am frustrated or guilty for yelling at my kids, I will choose God;
  • When I have “numbed out” in one way or another, becoming impervious to the goodness or pain around me, I will choose God;
  • When I am stuck at O’Hare, and can’t get home, I will choose God.

I don’t know what it will mean to ‘choose God, first and only’ in the midst of these and other yet-to-come situations. Probably something a little different every time. But my resolution is to go to God in the midst of these life events, to trust that God can be found here and in all of life. Maybe to remember what I have discovered in the past: that in God there is wisdom, or courage or forgiveness.

In her book Help. Thanks. Wow., Anne Lamott writes, “My belief is that when you’re telling the truth, you’re close to God. So that is it—in 2014 I will choose to come to God with the truth of my life.

And maybe go to Italy for pasta and ice cream.

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