Monday, January 03, 2005

2005 Arrives...

Yup, there is life on the other side of New Year's Eve. Enjoyed time with friends and playing silly games. Yesterday we had our first gathering - a BBQ with that quintissential Kiwi summer experience: back yard cricket! It had everything - static fielders (the BBQ and paddling pool), hits over the neighbour's fence (did I mention the 2 large dogs?) and admiring female spectators (why did they go inside?) This morning the shoulder is in trouble.

I'm still on leave this week. We're heading south 1 1/2 hours to Hamilton today with some friends to go look at some garden thingie - really not my thing - but its a good chance to hang with this couple.

I've been pondering New Years resolutions. Of all the human decisions we make NY's resolutions must rank as the most overrated and underperformed. My reflection on this is that we simply underestimate the amount of effort and planning that is required to implement the "great idea". We relax into the euphoria of New Year optimism as if there is some kinda magic in operation at this time of the year that will somehow transform our good intentions into reality. Then there is what a psychologist friend of mine labels "a psychology of failure". People who subconsciously overextend their goalsetting. I asked him what the "win" was for them in doing this, thinking that perhaps my pet pop psychology that humanity generally acts in (even misguided) self-interest was under threat. The answer: its not really failure if it was impossible...failure becomes palatable as a way of life.

And yet. There is something good about taking stock. Making plans. Conceiving the better life. As I've been thinking about this I went back to 1 Peter 2:5

you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

For me, I'm resolving to make view my resolutions as spiritual sacrifices that will help the ongoing dressing and smoothing of what is sometimes a pretty rough-hewn discipleship. It feels like more than good intentions...


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