We’re here again—at that time of the year which most people consider the fulcrum for their decision-making for the year. The day in which, people, as if their whole lives depended on it, lay the weight of deciding on themselves how the rest of their world will turn for the next 365 days. New Years Day; the day of resolution for resoluters!
Growing up in our household, New Years Day or the celebrating of it, weighed heavily on the religious side. It was a day marked for celebrating new life—celebrating the departure of a year that may have been filled with sinful or ugly moments—moments that kept us from making God smile. The inception of new life, or the praise party so-to-speak, began late night New Years Eve. In the church world, across most Christian denominations, we call that party watchnight service.
A watchnight service is a late-night Christian church service. In many different Christian traditions, a watchnight service is held late on New Year’s Eve, and ends after midnight. This provides the opportunity for Christians to review the year that has passed and make confession, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving. The services often include singing, praying, exhorting, and preaching.-Wiki
The whole idea is to lay all of your burdens down at the altar, resolve your wrongs by asking for forgiveness, receive that forgiveness, then walk into the new year with a praise of thanksgiving. For the greater part of my life I’ve held that tradition every year. Then one day, years ago, I was having a discussion with someone and we were kind of rambling over and summing up the parts of our lives at that point in our lives out loud. Then it hit me. Every single day we wake up, we awaken new beings. Suddenly, the waters of why we wait until the first day of the year to declare our newness became very murky to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking watchnight service. I actually believe it’s still necessary. But, if we can hold out 365 days to wring out all the wrongs in our worlds in a countdown of about 121 minutes, why not wake up everyday and declare the same thing?
We also made some personal, non-religious declarations on New Years Day as well. I’m sure everyone can relate when I say, “We resolved to lose weight, save money, be better this, be better that, yadda yadda yadda. That lasted about thirty days and we were back to pre-goal weight, only a few dollars in savings, and in the need of prayer for everything else. Ha!
The reason none of these declarations worked and are still failing in people’s lives today, is because they are not a part of a daily resolution.
Every day we must declare and decree newness in our lives. The old folks used to say, “Baby, take it one day at a time.” As far as our secular choices are concerned, if you want to lose weight, proper diet and exercise requires daily effort. If you want to save money, don’t wait until payday to allocate money. Make a daily savings plan. Don’t eat out everyday. Put all of your small change into a piggy bank. I know, I know. A piggy bank to an adult is a joke. It won’t be when you realize you can save almost $400 a year from storing loose change in it.
But most importantly, If you want to live a better life, you have to resolve to be a better person. This time last year, I decreed to lose weight, to a better mother, and a better wife. I’ve failed countless times. Do you want to know why? There’s no such thing as being a better person to someone else until you become a better person to yourself. I had to become a better me in order to become better for my family. I spent this past year as I will 2015 waking up everyday devoting time to my faith, my family, and myself. That’s what makes me better.
In a nutshell, this year, be resolute about your promises to yourself. Resolve daily!