I love New Year’s Resolutions. That probably says something about my personality type, but I’m not sure what. I really enjoy setting a goal and jumping all in to accomplish it. Last year I resolved to “take my writing more seriously”, and I did, and it was great.
I’m good at really specific resolutions like that one, where I can make a time line and a to-do list and a plan. But resolutions like that one only affect a tiny portion of my life in a way that is entirely controlled, managed, and directed by me.
I came up with quite a few similarly specific resolutions this year: to read more and watch TV less, to invite people over more, to buy more fair trade and support local artists more. I plan to do some of these things, because I think they’ll make me a better person and contribute to making the world a better place.
But these little resolutions are all about me and the change that I think I can effect in my own heart, and leave little room for God and the big changes He has planned for this year. So, in an effort to leave some margin in my life for God to work in, I’m scrapping the practical resolutions and going for a vague and open-ended one:
After a year of learning how to leave, it’s perhaps time to learn how to intentionally stay. According to Google, abide means to “continue without fading or being lost; to live or dwell.”
To be honest, having abide as a resolution terrifies me, because it seems to mean that I have to sit still and wait and just be for some length of time, which is not a state I am comfortable with or accustomed to. As we’ve already addressed, I’m all about the plan and the how-to and “continue” being my action verb for the year is something I might not know how to do.
But I’m also excited. Abide reminds me that all of my to do lists are less than nothing without God’s direction, timing, and power. Abide means that at the top of my to do list should be seeking God’s will and learning more about his character, something that found itself further and further down my to do list in this past year.
It still sounds like a quieter and still-er resolution than usual, but perhaps that is as it should be, at least for now.
Photo by jenny downing, via flickr.