While watching TV (something I hope to do less of in 2015) I have observed the content of advertising shift from “if-you-love-fill-in-the-blank-you-will-buy-them-a-Lexus-or-a-colored-diamond” mode, straight into “diet-quit-smoking-make-smoothies-join-the-gym-and-exercise” mode. Who needs clocks, calendars, or personal coaches when we have this cacophony of commercials?!
Sharon Osborne tells me that I can be on the You Know What Diet, famous for its no-carb content, and still eat “greek yohgurt” (I love how British people say yogurt, OK?!), bread, and even candy – and STILL lose weight. Oh how I feel the intoxicating pull of desire. “Hmmmm, will this work?” Then I snap back to reality, imagining all the money I’ve thrown down the drain over the years, falling for such quick fixes.
Resolutions have never been my thing. I suffer from the kind of perfection problem that causes me to either never begin or never complete things. That’s a sure fire way to make sure you never appear less than perfect! Don’t even try! Ugh, it is true. Pride goeth before a fall, and perhaps falling is the only thing I do perfectly in the end. So why bother setting up some unrealistic expectations that will only send me swooshing down some giant slide o’shame by January 10th anyway? Why bother?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand goal setting; to me that is very different. Duties, details and deadlines are all part of my world, and I strive to do better. But what about things like finding more time for prayer and rest, weight loss and exercise, and a number of other changes that I would like to make in my life?
Suddenly the thought began to percolate in my brain, albeit rather late in the game – why not? Why don’t I? It got me to consider this: what if I asked questions instead? Why don’t I exercise more regularly? What keeps me from practicing yoga? How can I be more fiscally responsible at home? (At work, I’m a real whiz at it!) How can I deepen my relationships with others? Serve more? Give more? How can I really change? And the real money question: what keeps me from writing more? Why not?
Then I came across this link from On Being, from Parker J. Palmer, Five Questions for Crossing the Threshold. The question that struck me most deeply is one that I have been wrestling with for a long time; “What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?”
As I begin this year, I will pose this question to myself, along with the thought, why not? That’s where I will begin this year, and end this post. Let’s see what happens. And I’ll be keeping the famous words written by Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to A Young Poet nearby at all times.
What are your questions? What stops you? What moves you? Why? Why not? Can we live and love the questions? Let’s walk together as we ask, listen, discern, await, and then act. May your 2015 be blessed, a year full of hope! Thank you for being here with me always!