I half wondered about deleting the title of the article and replacing it with "So it begins", a great line that fellow Lord of the Rings fans will know is uttered by one of the characters just before a battle. It is funny that I should think of this as an appropriate muse or reflection when the year has only just started!
A new year start
All years' start, don't they? By that I mean that you start the year with some good intentions; some written down, some lying in your closet (that pair of jeans that you fitted into last year, or those weights that you nailed six months ago). The same old mantra that this year 'will be different'.
Sometimes I think; actually, can I have more of the same please? Can God not challenge me yet again, break me yet again and keel me over with something else in my character that he is lovingly shaping? So, if I am honest I am writing this article with a few mixed feelings.
I am over the "new year's resolutions", whether it is dieting, running or just a personal vendetta to "be a bit better". How many of us know that that is a short-term fix for a potentially longer term journey?
My personal journey
What is really going on inside me right now? Well not an awful lot if I am honest! Having gone caffeine-free for a whole ... wait for it 48 hours and discovering that I have not a) died or b) cried and felt awful there is a sudden peace in my mind. I used to have a bit of spiritual Tourette's syndrome going on... praising Jesus one second then going the full 180 and going "how can you say that to me?".
There was no warning, it just happened. Now, however there is a sudden order to my thoughts; like a quiet sandy plain, with an inviting horizon. All I can say is that the new year has bought its own quiet revolution in me. It begins with saying no to the brown stuff.
The lack of coffee is threatening deeper reflection; so here goes. There are times to "resolve" that you will do something. Hear me – such as the time that you resolve that you will go to work and honour God and those around you. Those times when you are resolved that no matter what happens in your marriage or in your family that you will RESOLVE to work through it rather than run away.
Or that time when you are single or perhaps in relationship and temptation to break a covenant early comes by and you RESOLVE that you seek God and his love, rather than the early satisfaction that might be on offer.
Staying set to your resolutions
But let us think for a second. When a resolution is made in your life, mind or heart that brings with it a kind of binary path that you must think real hard about it before you tread it. What if, for instance you resolve that you will stop eating bananas on the basis that you hate the shape and then discover that they are the new "superfood" of 2017?
What if you "resolve" that you will walk your dog every day only to discover that the dog hates walks and you start serving in your community? A mental or verbal "resolution" can bring with it a certain kind of baggage. That if you resolve and then fail, then you are a failure.
Or that if you resolve and then think that you have found a better solution, that you somehow have to stick to the original plan, even though the new one might be better. Do you understand? A resolution seems to me to be a limiting, rather than an enhancing factor on a new year.
A new view
So, I guess my question must be – what is an alternative way to do things? I 'love' the Nike slogan. Their response is – "just do it". Whatever it might be for you this year, whether it be the hope that you might run a 10K or that you might see more of your family, that you might start dating this year or loving yourself a bit more, or applying for a new job.
Do not resolve to do it. Just do it instead.
Rosie Robinson resides in Manchester where, in between feeding herself coffee and bagels she works for an international financial services organisation. She attends a lively church called Audacious, enjoys reading, running and watching films and slowly discovering life with Jesus.
Rosie Robinson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosie-robinson.html