December 29, 2008
I am fascinated with the term “resolute.” One of my first associations with the word was focused on the British warship, the HMS Resolute. In the 1850’s, this ship was locked in the Arctic ice, abandoned by Great Britain but later found and rescued by Americans. We returned it to Britain and in appreciation, Queen Victoria later had a spectacular desk made from that lumber and presented it to President Hayes. That same desk has been used by every President since except for Johnson, Nixon and Ford. There have been two modifications made to it. FDR had a front panel added so he could hide his wheel chair and Reagan had it raised to accommodate his height. The best known picture of that desk has young John Kennedy crawling through the front panel as his father sat there trying to work.
But back to the term “resolute”…it means to be firm or determined. It has the sense of being unwavering. Most of us associate the word with New Year’s resolutions. Since the early Roman period, people have used this ancient celebration of the New Year as an opportunity to fix personal defects by committing to new behavior.
Recently I saw a list of the ten most popular resolutions and predictably half of them had to do with stopping some destructive activity (quit smoking, lose weight, get fit, stop drinking and get out of debt). Two out of the ten had to do with improving yourself (get organized and learn something new). The last three are focused on others (spend more time with family, do more volunteering and get out and enjoy life more).
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these resolutions. Self improvement is a worthwhile goal. But self focus is not! Not only will we likely fail by February, but we fail right from the start because the resolutions are focused on us and not the Lord!
So instead of making the same old list this year let me suggest three other resolutions that we all might make.
1. Let’s resolve to seek the Lord in all we do! Our lives need to be punctuated by personal, powerful, passionate prayers. The way we pray expresses on dependence on Him. When King Jehoshaphat faced a vast army coming against him, he resolved “to inquire of the Lord…” (II Chron. 20:3). Let’s do the same.
2. Let’s resolve to monitor our tongues. The words we use should edify, encourage and build up. The Psalmist declares “…I have resolved that my mouth will not sin” (Psalm 17:3). Let’s do the same.
3. Lastly, let’s resolve to fixate on Christ. Let’s make him the center of everything we do this next year. Paul affirmed his commitment with these words, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (I Cor. 2:2). Let’s do the same.
A resolution is a firm and determined commitment. Let’s unwaveringly commit to make Christ more central in our lives this New Year!
Warmest Regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools