My New Year's Resolutions Be Like Oops I Did It Again
We're a week into new resolutions and I can confidently say that I've already broken more resolutions than I will keep the rest of the year. I know this because I've been down this road before. Last year in fact. And the one before. Decades of Resolution entrance and exit ramps are in my rearview.
It's how I roll.
But I do take some comfort in knowing I don't roll alone. Want proof? Check out any gym on January 3. Check back again on February 3. I rest my case.
Also, this is not scientific or anything but there seems to be a run on kale come January in the grocery stores. By February you can find kale in the makeup aisle there's so much of it floating around the stores. (Ah, that does remind me of one resolution I do keep every year -- never to make kale a staple of my diet.)
Kale aside (way aside), like most people, I do seriously resolve each year to try and dig deeper to be a better person than I was the prior 365 days.
Many of my Christian friends claim a Bible verse as their "life" verse to help achieve this – a line or passage from God's word they feel best defines their mission here on earth, inspires or likewise fuels or represents them, or their relationship with Jesus. The verse that always sings to me, the one that calms my heart and reminds me Who’s in charge is Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing." To paraphrase: “The God of THE UNIVERSE has you. What else do you need to know here?” Hard to argue with that logic.
But if there is a Bible verse that best describes me, well, that, my friends can be found in Romans 7:15: "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do."
Now I know Paul wasn't writing a list of his New Year's resolutions when he penned his Letter to the Romans and included those provocative thoughts, but it does let us all know that even back in the day, the struggle was real.
The issue, the experts today tell us, is that once you focus on not wanting something you usually wind up wanting it even more.
Hence, conversely, when you spend all day not thinking about kale you don’t eat it. Which is a bonus.
But well beyond food, it really does seem like every single time I resolve to be a better person I have to fly somewhere.
Airports for me are Satan's special lair -- the place the devil lies in wait to sacrifice my every good intention on the altars of the TSA. I can literally feel my blood pressure rising as I inch closer to the pending security check because 99.9% of the time the TSA decides this middle age chick poses some modicum of threat.
My being targeted by TSA is far more reliably kept than any New Year’s resolution I’ve ever made.
My worst encounter with “them” was back in 2009 when I was catching a flight out of Ottawa, Canada. It happened to be the afternoon Captain Sully dropped his Airbus A320 into the Hudson River after the plane was ambushed by a flock of Canadian geese.
Perhaps everyone leaving Canada that day was suspect or something, but my particular TSA dude was apparently on the hunt for some hidden birdie contraband in my carry-on. He held my paperback up to the light and flipped through the pages looking for what? Goose droppings? He did likewise with my mascara. I am happy to report my glasses and deodorant were thoroughly investigated and cleared to fly.
Another time as I was boarding a flight - boarding mind you - I was pulled out of line and my water bottle, purchased inside the airport secure zone, was investigated and my hands tested with secret squirrel terrorist catching wipes.
Just last month I wore absolutely nothing that would make the beeper thingy go off. I wore yoga pants and converse sneakers. Absolutely no jewelry. I looked like I was headed to the gym and pretty lame at that. And yet, I still got the once over. The TSA officer (a female) insisted on checking the collar of my T-shirt.
They say you can smell fear. I swear the TSA smells my pent-up frustration and that's what sets off their detectors. They’re anticipating my would-be meltdown. Meanwhile, the knife salesman ahead of me cruises on by or so I tell myself - in my anger. Which I have resolved not to be. Another resolution fail.
Even when I intend to spend one full day blessing everyone around me, it can take just one car horn, or Siri, that virtual-assistance shrew, to misunderstand me, and I resemble more psycho than saint.
I'm not proud of this. Getting so worked up about this stuff, and worst of all being unkind to people who mostly may not deserve it, is doing exactly what I hate. Just like Paul said.
But Paul also knew there was amazing hope in the power of Jesus. "I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Paul concludes in Romans 7:25.
So even when we break promises to ourselves and to others, even when we do what we don't understand and even what we hate, Jesus resolved more than 2000 years ago to love us regardless.
Because of that Great Resolution, I'm focusing this year not on broken resolutions but on the reoccurring grace of His resolution. The grace that comes with forgiveness and with do-overs.
Thanks to Him, I have 365 days to do a little better.
That's how I'm rolling.
By Christy Cox
January 7, 2020