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January 8, 2012

With the New Year also comes the Season of Good Intentions. In fact, I have not heard anyone say anything even closely akin to the following:
Ive decided to gain a little bit of extra weight and be a little less active in 2012.
Ive been far too attendant upon the things of God in the past year. Im going to keep a closer watch on that this year.
I have been way too sensitive to the needs and concerns of my family over the course of the past 12 months. I think Ill be a bit more indifferent toward my loved ones this time around.
Ive been a really good neighbor. Its about time to report that barking, three-legged dog next door to the authorities.
I was entirely too benevolent in 2011. I plan to work on being far more self-indulgent in the year to come.
I was too joyful in 2011. Too many people enjoyed seeing me coming. I need to put an end to all of that in 2012.
I noticed I laughed far too often in 2011. How foolish was that?
I was understanding, even conciliatory at times, in 2011, but I shall approach this coming year in the ever-popular, obnoxious spirit of unwavering, close-minded self-righteousness.
I was nice and gentle last year. This year I plan to work on being more boorish and aggressive.
I did a really nice job of holding my tongue in 2011 on those occasions when the facts proved that my spouse was right and I was wrong. It kept me out of a lot of trouble. This year, though, I plan to try harder to prove my erroneous point.
Yes, sir, good sense Ill shelve in two-thousand-twelve. That might make a nice bumper sticker, dont you think?
No, nobody has said anything like that to me. The truth is that most of us want to do better in the New Year than we did in the old. Good people are always aspiring to greater things.
Yet, we have to admit that sometimes we only think about doing better. Our intentions really are good, but we find ourselves constrained by routine, and routine has a way of absorbing our time. Routine has a way of telling us that weve done enough, that its time to rest. And, when we are weary, it is hard to argue with the wisdom of routine.
Still, it is self-affirming to get outside the routine and do something for someone else that we have maybe never done before. It is a good thing for you to pray about. What would God have you to do to make things better or more complete for someone else as this New Year unfolds?
I have decided to send a care package to an anonymous soldier in Afghanistan this year. Ive never done that before, and dont really know how. But, I am going to find out how, and I am going to do that one thing. Its not much, but it is one thing.
What one thing is it that God seems to be calling you to do? This is the time to commit to that one thing to make that one thing happen. It will make it a better year for that one person and it will make it a better New Year for you.
And, Ill see you Sunday.