Posts Tagged ‘New Year’
I don’t like New Year Resolutions. It’s nothing personal, but the temporary nature of them and the reality that I’ve hardly met anyone that has actually kept one or more resolutions is cause enough to make me not take them seriously. My dislike is intensified even more when New Year Resolutions are married to developing Christian faith or engaging in spiritual disciplines. I know the majority of people who do the “resolution” thing make them with the best of intentions, so I’m not slamming on people that make resolutions… I’m slamming on a culture that creates an environment where “change resolutions” are necessary. And, I’m slamming on a culture that makes it almost impossible for a person to keep the resolutions they make.
I think the attitude that is needed is not to make a resolution or two…or three… or whatever, but resolve to live differently entirely. The word and the attitude is “metanoia” (Greek, from metanoiein to change one’s mind, repent). The idea metanoia conveys in the English is a transformative change of heart; especially a spiritual conversion. This represents a substantial shift in thinking from making a “New Year Resolution.” Unfortunately, a resolution (anymore) is reduced to “I’ll give it a shot” mentality; whereas, metanoia represents a change of heart and mind.
Speaking honestly, no matter your choice or frame of mind… whether you choose to make a “resolution” or if you choose a real change in the way you focus your life (metanoia), you will be faced with serious challenges. Culture, friends, and spiritual powers and principalities are working against you. Enlisting a faithful friend of like mindedness will be valuable; having the support of a God-centered faithful community will be even more valuable.
We live in difficult times. A few days into this New Year and the days will have returned to their dizzying pace—life moving at warp speed. The noises of life will be screaming for your attention with every step you take; without a full on change of heart and mind, resolutions don’t stand a chance. I think Thomas Merton puts our plight in perspective.
We live in the time of no room, which is the time of the end. The time when everyone is obsessed with the lack of time, lack of space, with saving time, conquering space, projecting into time and space the anguish produced within them by the technological furies of size, volume, quantity, speed, number, price, power and acceleration.
The primordial blessing, “increase and multiply,” has suddenly become a hemorrhage of terror. We are numbered in billions, and massed together, marshaled, numbered, marched here and there, taxed, drilled, armed, worked to the point of insensibility, dazed by information, drugged by entertainment, surfeited with everything, nauseated with the human race and with ourselves, nauseated with life.
As the end approaches, there is no room for nature. The cities crowd it off the face of the earth.
As the end approaches, there is no room for quiet. There is no room for solitude. There is no room for thought. There is no room for attention, for the awareness of our state.
In the time of the ultimate end, there is no room for man.
Those that lament the fact that there is no room for God must also be called to account for this. Have they perhaps added to the general crush by preaching a solid marble God that makes man alien to himself, a God that settles himself grimly like an implacable object in the inner heart of man and drives man out of himself in despair?
The time of the end is the time of demons who occupy the heart (pretending to be gods) so that man himself finds no room for himself in himself. He finds no space to rest in his own heart, not because it is full, but because it is void. If only he knew that the void itself, when hovered over by the Spirit, is an abyss of creativity…yet he cannot believe it. There is no room for belief. -Thomas Merton
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Slow down. Stop. Be Still. Be Quiet. Make a change that will be lasting.
How bout a little Borden Family update? I mean…if you’re interested. What’s with the title of this blog post? Well, I’m glad you asked (even if you didn’t); it gives me a chance to brag up me and my precious wife’s 21st anniversary! Yep, 21 marvelous-wonderful years of wedded bliss…and I mean that! There is no sarcasm at all in my words; I am truly a blessed man in so many, many ways. So, anyway…with this being a New Year, my anniversary, and me not sending out any Christmas letter updates…I thought I’d share a newsletter with you. Click on the newsletter link at the right (or this .pdf link) and you can catch up with the Bordens!
Happy New Year and May the Lord lead you in every step of your life.