Another Christmas done, another year coming to pass… It goes too fast doesn’t it? For me the end of the year becomes a time of questions, “Has it been a good year? Did I accomplish all I should have accomplished? What memories stand out, good or bad? What friends have I lost? Gained? How has my relationship with God changed? What new insights has God given me about life… about myself… about those around me? Have I left a Jesus kind of mark on the world around me? Have I been a good husband? Father? Have I invested the time God’s given me wisely? Have I been so serious that I’ve had no time to be full of wonder…. no time to laugh…. no time to be as a child?
And along with the Old Year’s Reviews come the New Year’s Resolutions. I have a list of 70 resolutions written by Jonathon Edwards (philosopher/preacher used greatly by God in revival) over a period of time from 1722-1723. I offer a few of my favorites to you.
5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possible can.
6. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
22. Resolved, To endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
25. Resolved, To examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
28. Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly percieve myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
40. Resolved, To inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.
42. Resolved, Frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism, which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church, and which I have solemnly re made this 12th day of January, 1723.
52. Resolved: I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, That I will live just as I think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
I think resolutions get a bad rap when we define failure as anything less than 100% compliance. I think a good resolution is one in which failure is defined simply as “quitting.” A resolution becomes less a test and more a direction. If we desire to take a particular journey, we must take a step in the right direction. A resolution simply points the way…if you fall along the way, simply get back up and take another step.