By Ronald Bartanen
The following New Years conversation is from a “For Better or Worse” comic strip which I saved from a few years back. The family is seated around the breakfast table, and the father says: “Well, here we are in a brand New Year. I think we should all make some resolutions, don’t you?” The response was as follows:
MOTHER: “O.K. I resolve not to criticize, to nag less and to bake more often.”
FAMILY RESPONSE: “Right on! Neat! Yeah!”
FATHER: “I resolve not to lose my temper, and to fix all the things in the house that need repairs.”
FAMILY RESPONSE: “Great! Okay!!!”
ELIZABETH : “I resolve to brush Farley (dog), to keep my room clean and not to fight with Michael.”
FAMILY RESPONSE: “Good!”
MICHAEL: “I resolve to play road hockey, hang out with my friends, and to watch TV.”
MOTHER: “Wait a minute! We all made real promises. Your resolutions are worthless.”
MICHAEL: “I know…but at least mine will be kept!”
It is quite easy to make resolutions; it is quite another thing to keep them. I saw a report on TV a few years ago that said January is the month in which more people sign up in aerobic and physical fitness clubs, and some never show up for the whole year. Others attend a few times and soon are seen no more. However, the fact remains that making resolutions is a means of challenging ourselves to greater things. It is a good time to take inventory of our lives, and where we see a deficiency, to resolve to make the needed improvements. Someone once recommended the following “tips for success” in keeping one’s resolutions:
Make “bite size” goals you can keep.
Be realistic—avoid saying “never ever.”
Find an “anti-procrastination partner” to keep you from slipping.
Keep track of progress.
Don’t make too many goals.
I would add one more: Call upon the Lord for spiritual resources. What we cannot do of ourselves, the Lord can accomplish through us. As Paul stated it: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/