After all the gastronomic delights, and the over eating and drinking of Christmas have been dispelled by the wonders of digestion—after all the gifts, useful, welcomed, unwanted and mostly unnecessary, have been often savagely torn from their elegant, careful packaging and transformed into a ungainly pile of pollution on the floor, many will sit back, heave a sigh of relief and say “Thank the Lord Christmas is over”. However, the next spectre of over indulgence, that of New Year looms closely ahead.
With New Year, celebrated to a greater of lesser degree in almost all countries, Christian or pagan, comes the curious fashion of making New Year Resolutions. These, of course, are usually in the form of salutary intentions to do better, try harder, improve personal activities or capabilities, which if kept are reckoned always to make the person better.
One might well ask WHY? why should a person want to improve their habits? and WHY should these often way-out schemes come to mind anyway?
Why is it that we never seem to hear of people making bad New Year resolutions? Like doing more burglaries, beating up more people, doing more ‘punishments’ or maybe fit in a murder of two? Or in the last resort try to set a new record number of days for being unkind to the family or spouse! Why should New Year resolutions always be for the better?
Such can only be the work of the Holy Spirit doing His job of “convincing men of sin”, saying “this is the way walk you in it”—encouraging us to lead lives more in accordance with God’s will.
"Why is it that we never seem to hear of people making bad New Year resolutions? "
That being so, one may also well ask why are New Year resolutions also part of the tradition in non Christian countries?
Are these people, the “sheep not of this fold” mentioned, by Jesus who we may be surprised to see standing on the sea of glass, worshipping the Lamb at the end of time?
If the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do things better and lead lives more pleasing in His sight at New Year, why do we have to wait for NEW YEAR to rededicate our lives and actions?
Can we not make a New year/daily resolution every morning at prayer time, asking for God’s help to be better witnesses for Him and kinder to all, especially our families and spouses?
That certainly would be a resolution worth striving to keep.