I’m not really big on New Year’s resolutions. I adopt Miles Kington’s policy of making only ones I’m sure I can keep. This year they were to speak only English at work, to breathe every day, always to wear clothes to church, to keep on writing and not to swim across the English Channel.
Nevertheless, God has ordered the world in seasons, and the start of a new season is always a fresh opportunity to be more intentional in the pursuit of God. So while I haven’t set myself up to fail by making resolutions I may not keep, I have taken a few steps to put God more at the centre of my life.
During the painful times in the last few years I have sometimes retreated from reality into mindless computer games. Of course it doesn’t block out the real world for long, and it doesn’t make the experiences less painful – sooner or later you have to return and face reality. The only real answer is to bring everything frankly and honestly to Jesus who is the great Healer. But last week I deleted all games off my computer to reduce that temptation.
At a time when home was not a safe place and I felt quite beleaguered, I found myself using Facebook more and more to connect with people who were safe and would build me up, not tear me down. But over the years it has become a habit to an extent that is at least off-balance, and probably unhealthy. Rather than make a guilt-inducing resolution about using Facebook less, I have replaced it as my internet home page. Now when I turn on my computer and open a browser window, instead of Facebook opening in front of me, it will take me to www.sacredspace.ie where I will find daily prayers, Bible readings and meditations designed to help me focus on and engage with God.
These are minor changes, but I hope they are like the adjustment of a sail – it might not look as though much is different, but the sail has been set to catch the wind which will propel the ship in a particular direction. I hope that by dropping some encumbrances I’m setting my sail to catch the wind of the Holy Spirit, to be taken to a shore where a harvest is waiting to be gathered, the fulfilment of years of hopes and prayers.