A friend of mine e-mailed me from Cancun where his ten year old daughter parasailed 150 feet up in the air yesterday. This is the same girl who jumped off a two story platform into Lake Lucern in Switzerland while I held nervously to the railing and ultimately refused to take the drop off. Brave kid. My son also received a medal of courage when yesterday, at his grandparents, he toppled off Trigger, the half-alive three foot brown Shetland stallion. And, although quaking and crying, Cody re-mounted the pony when his grandpa righted the saddle. Progress!
And, so these children will be my examples of bravery for the new year as I think about some resolutions for myself.
One resolution is to still fight the urge to see religion as completely self-serving. There I said it. Its been a struggle these last six months to see it otherwise on many levels. I've been noticing the 'safe worlds' that we Christians create and justify which are often based upon creating a superior self-image compared to others. Yes, we may disguise this with humble self-analytical flagellation of sorts, but because we're engaged in this activity, we are a better person/nation/etc than others. All sorts of crazy actions/aggression/pronouncements result from this.
My church and its incessant building funddrive for bigger and bigger toys for the children's area (yet the substance is quite thin) and its huge re-iterated goal for the Christmas offering (which covers not just benevolence but administrative aims) also has pounded in this message to me lately. Cynicism becomes wrapped more tightly around the dollar as the dollar becomes the prized messenger of showing your 'love' to God, a phrase oft-used. Sigh. And, so the vision spreads, and I'm losing track of the humble, good, lovers of God. Fortunately, a couple of friends model this still for me. My goal is to not drift away into the cynicism and to keep my eyes on the simple elements of belief in God, agreeing to believe despite persistent doubts.
Another resolution: to acknowledge the tie between physical, emotional, spiritual health. Even as I write this, I am procrastinating my run. The week at my parents got me off track. I know that exercise does me a world of good in many ways (just like faith) and so I must continue. I even do like it much when doing it!
Another resolution: to parent as best as possible without becoming emotionally muddled during the heat of the battle. I love my teenager, but she is quite the strong-willed girl who will challenge us. I must learn to keep my side of the street clean. (I truly need God dependence here.). To parent with respect and love and hope that my children will not fall into the pit of despair.
Another resolution: to acknowledge all that belongs to my husband. As I walked and prayed one day, I prayed from my toes to my head in a sort of recommitment.
Another: to continue enjoying my friends, but to know when I'm becoming overdependent on a few of them (which at times happens). I do love friendships, though, and I thank God for them.
Another: to approach the move to Little Rock (in a year and a half) with an open mind.
Okay, obviously, I've rolled out of bed in a most serious mode this morning! I have a joke about a hot horse biscuit my dad told me this week if you're interested. :) Happy New Year to anyone who happened to have made it to the end of this posting!