It’s that most wonderful time of the year. You know, when people are extra polite, ugly sweaters are a party theme, and suddenly, there is a concern for how the attractively challenged will spend the winter season. Yes, it is a wonderful time, filled with traditions. (Feel that sword swoosh by above us. Leave it on this channel though.)Then, we get to the new year tradition. The one where we celebrate a fresh start and make confident proclamations. “witness more to my community,” “more prayer time/time in the Word,” “volunteer more with my church,” and the classic, “get in better shape.” Now before I tell on anybody else, I have to tell on myself first. I know I have personally put these on my new year goals list. I also prayed them out loud at a watch night service. And, I had them pasted on my vision board. A vision board that I look at now and get annoyed because it takes up space and I wonder why I have it around.This tradition, along with blowing through our accounts for toys and gadgets, hinder more than help. You may ask how, especially when they seem like reasonable goals. The goals can be accomplished when you have the “threat” of an accountability partner to make sure you are Deuteronomy 14 at the beginning of March.
But they are meaningless. If you allow me to go to the Bible for a second, Christ says in Mark 7: 8, “For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” We hold to the tradition of writing out these goals but take no thought of why we make them and become nonchalant about vows we make (Ecclesiastes 5:5, Matthew 5:37).
Instead of pledges for the year, how about, we ask for our daily bread. Let’s try to be a better neighbor to our neighbors and invite them over to dinner, just once. Buy a strangers lunch while we’re in line. Get those shoes for the kid down the street. Give that co-worker who feels like sandpaper on your soul a hug and then invite them out to lunch. Here’s the kick in the head though, let’s do it without a mention of church affiliation.
And as far as the get fit goal, an outdoor game with our neighbors every once in awhile will whip us all back into shape, that and plenty of water.