Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Resolving the Problem of Resolutions
I don’t usually make a New Year’s resolution. Not because I’m afraid of failure or disappointment, it’s more to do with fact that most New Year’s resolutions are negative. We tell ourselves we’ll be a better person if we stop doing this or that, break a bad habit, or deny ourselves something. And it all has to begin on one specific date of the year, as though changing, making or renewing a life-changing habit at any other time won’t work. What does that say about our resolve to keep a resolution if the compulsion to do it mainly comes from January 1st twisting our arm behind our back?
After all, that’s where the word ‘resolution’ comes from, isn’t it? Resolve. That’s what making a resolution is all about. Getting the resolve to do something and then having the dogged determination to keep on doing it – which is another point about making resolutions. You only make a resolution once, but you have to keep on being resolved. In fact, it’s all the resolving you do after you initially made the resolution that decides whether you’ll keep it not.
But there’s something else too. We see this word “resolution” a lot these days, and it’s got nothing to do with making promises. If you own a digital camera you might be aware that the camera’s resolution (usually measured in megapixels), its resolving power, is a measure of its ability to see (resolve) fine detail. The more mega-pixels a camera has, the higher its resolution will be and the better will be its ability to define or resolve pictures more clearly.
So, here’s the thing. How about as an alternative to negative navel gazing and trying to fix what we think is wrong with ourselves, we look to God instead. Instead of resolving to try to be a better person, we try to increase our resolution of God. Because I suspect that if we can define who God is more clearly in our lives, in other words resolve his presence with us, it will have a huge impact on the kind of person we are.