Resting in Life

"Remain in him.” – 1 Jn 2:28

Resolutions are meant to help us enter a new year with hope. Yet, too often they are more life draining rather than life giving. They revolve around what I want to do, what I’d like to see happen. When I succeed, I easily become self-sufficient and prideful. When I fail, I fall prey to the tyranny of the shoulds and beat up myself. These promises of self-improvement seldom work because often they are more self-directed and Me-focused, fueled by an ego-driven dynamic.

Today’s first reading offers an alternative approach. Six times, we are invited to “remain in” God’s promise of new, greater life. What if we follow this encouragement and take some time of quiet, to let the blessings of Christmas and the New Year sink in? What if we marinate in the mystery of a God who delights and longs to be more fully with us and in our relationships? What if we pause to notice what has been consistently life giving in the past year? These are concrete ways of asking God, “How are you inviting me to greater life?” and really listening without an agenda. I find this approach more energizing and hopeful than making resolutions. It has been more helpful for me to enter 2017 with hope.

Lord, help me rest in Your love and in what is life giving. Help me focus less on my agendas, expectations, or worries.