I do not know the origins of “New Year’s Resolutions,” nor have I ever truly taken part in this notion. In my personal views, the concept of resolutions are positive in nature but lack the substance to be a viable form of effecting change. One can safely assume that a large population of the American people make some form of resolution at the turn of the new year, but so many fail to keep their resolutions beyond the first month. This reveals one of the biggest faults in ourselves and society, a lack of commitment. Commitment is vital to life, especially those in this tumultuous time that is College. In my conversations with others my age, directly or indirectly, they are constantly shifting between majors, jobs, hobbies, and people. They almost seem committed to being uncommitted. Unable to settle into their decisions and accept the consequences of their actions.
A year ago, around this time, I went with some of my peers in the College Ministry to Passion Conferences. Over the course of the weekend, I get to listen to several pastors and speakers share insight with over seventeen thousand college students from many universities from within the state. One of the speakers, Christine Caine, spoke about commitment and how America is the land of options. One example that she used, which was a recurring subject to touch on, was the number of customizable options people have when ordering at Starbucks. As a Starbucks Partner at that time, I could attest to that fact (and share some of the cringeworthy customizations some customers have for their drinks). For my generation, or those of the College age, we’d rather keep our options open than commit to something and potentially lose out on something perceptional better. We do not commit to a group of friends, we cannot commit to this social event, or that major, or this job, or commit to yourselves. Constantly seeking out the next best thing. In some ways, our corporate consumerism has led the charge in shaping this noncommittal way of living. Perhaps, an easy target to use an the example is Apple. Every year without fail, Apple executives unveil a new (slightly better), improved iPhone. Which is ultimately a half-step update toward to the next generation of technology. Setting aside my Apple Fanboy-ism, the business minded part of me has to applaud this business strategy. As with every release hundreds of thousands of people line up to throw their money at the newest technology that comes from Cupertino, California. But this blog is not about businesses and planned obsolescence, so I must digress. Apple forms a good foundation to show the constant lack of commitment to what we already have. Yet commitment is key to so many aspects of our daily lives, and we fail to build this virtue up. This is where I want to discuss what I want to achieve this year, and make a (somewhat?) public commitment to remain committed to achieving these things.
Committing to my Relationships
Having previously detailing the family unit that has blossomed in our College Ministry in my previous post, it comes as no surprise to me that I have a desire to continue to be committed to doing life with these godly people. They are my council, the people I can turn to for keeping me in check, for encouragement, and to learn from. These friends are, as I have sentimentally detailed before, a blessing that I cannot truly describe in words. I thank God often for placing them around me, and their positive influences over me. I guess by committing to this (these) relationship(s), I mean that we (I) would continue to be life-giving. Matt Chandler, in his book The Mingling of Souls, describes life-giving relationships as “nurturing each other emotionally and spiritually.” While this book is directed at dating and marriage, this too applies to our relationships with one another. The men of our College Bible study look to the example of our College Pastor, who constantly pours out into us. He encourages us, teaches us, and leads us by example. In this setting, life-giving relationships means accountability with ourselves and one another. We check in on one another, and lift up one another in brotherly love. We studied the book of John, and explored the aspects of Godly character, which apply immediately in our lives, and how it will our, someday, married lives. So I guess what I mean by being committed to this, is to metaphorically work out these characteristics, which requires something that I will detail later.
Committing to Become More Healthy
I am not unhealthy by any means, but there are areas that need improvement. One of the requirements for my classes, is physical education. This has forced be to become more active, which I have been. In conjunction with my former job with Starbucks, I was relatively active. However, having left my job with Starbucks this has not been the case. I am no longer spending 7-8 hours on my feet moving constantly, often briskly in order to keep up with the tidal wave of customers that flooded my old store where our record for number of cars through the drive through was 53 (a record I do not believe has been broken again). So health isn’t a problem, but I need to be smarter about consumption, especially snacking and sodas. I don’t drink a lot of sodas, and for a long time I was not drinking any. Somewhere since starting college, they became a quick way to have access to caffeine (which as a barista in a coffee shop, is something you quickly learn to live with). One think I think I can do, is replace sodas with tea. I definitely love my coffee black, free of any additives, which is how I need to learn to drink my tea. In addition to this, I will be walking regularly. Although I have completed all of the P.E. credits I need to graduate, the final for this course is an orienteering expedition in the forests of the national forests. This is a highlight of every semester, and one that I am welcome to take part in for the remainder of my time at seminary. This requires that I prepare accordingly, which will mean that I remain committed to a structured preparation plan (usually walking two or three miles three times a week).
Committing to My Relationship to the Lord, and My Personal Quiet Times
I’ll admit that I have not been keeping a consistent quiet time, where I can enter the Lord’s teachings and spend some personal time with Him. This must change, which is why I bring it up here in this blog. I started this blog so that I could be ‘real’ with myself, I can write down my thoughts/feelings/reflections on my life and the world around me, and to have a sort of creative outlet. This means that I have to be honest with myself and not represent myself in anyway that would be inaccurate or misleading, because who am I really fooling? Myself would be the only answer should this be the case. In seminary, it can be exhaustingly easy to call you school studies a ‘quiet time’ and go on about your business, and I am guilty of going just that. Yet all I really achieve is starving myself of the word from the good book, the Bible. In my first semester of seminary, I had been warned about this through some of my classmates, and I seek to rectify this. I am committing to having a daily quiet time where I can meditate and ponder the vast amounts of wisdom and knowledge the Lord has to share with me. It is time for to commit to these things, especially this last one. In fact it is imperative that I do so, lest I fall victim to the very thing I began this post with, noncommittal-ism.
I do not know what the Lord has in store for my life or where it is going, but I will remain committed to moving when the Lord says, ‘Move.’ Because if I cannot be committed to the little things, how could I ever be expected to be committed to the important things of life? Not even mention be committed to a spouse and a family? Commitment is one virtue that impacts nearly every aspect of life, and requires exercise to strengthen it. In this journey to become more life my Redeemer, my Savior, my rock and foundation, I must seek to exercise the virtues that make up godly character. Thank you for reading, and have a blessed day.