In one of the more interesting articles I read in one of the daily newspapers over the holidays the author opined that it is useless to make resolutions as these are only desires and are easily amended and/or forgotten. He believed that we must make “revolutions”, meaning that we should focus on one thing-bad habit-wrong behavior at a time and make a great and revolutionary change. Instead of dreaming and desiring, he said we need to take positive action in transforming our lives for the better.
I was struck by this approach to making the usual list of resolutions for the coming New Year. Yes, we need to dream, but even more importantly, we must take action to make these dreams into a reality. How? By thinking out of the box, by being creative, by being enthusiastic, and by taking dynamic action. Our life today is not a dress rehearsal! It is the real thing! We are the leading ladies (or men as the case may be), the mga bida, in the life we lead. We should not stand at the side and let others manipulate and direct our lives.
Unfortunately, I have met some people who seem to live unconsciously, following a routine that seldom varies from day to day, taking their lives and everything around them for granted. They seem to waiting for something wonderful to happen to them … it is as if they were existing in limbo. I recognize them because there was a time in my life when I was also living, or should I say existing, robotically, just going through the motions. It was only when I became aware of the pointlessness of my existence that I began to discover the real meaning of life.
What was missing from my life at that time was a true sense of enjoyment, of contentment, and of happiness. I began searching for these qualities. Soon I discovered that enjoyment comes from being aware of the simple beauty of life that God surrounds me with. That contentment is making grateful, faithful, fruitful and joyful use of what I have, whether it is little or much. That happiness is a quiet, perpetual rejoicing in small events. That life revolves around what we are alive to and aware of, that beauty can only be seen through the eyes of a happy heart, and that “being” is as important, if not more important, than “doing.”
I wondered if there was any advice in scripture about this kind of transformation. Romans 12:2 confirmed my discoveries. “Do not conform yourself to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” This is the real revolution … a revolution of mind and heart!
As soon as I began practicing these discoveries in my everyday life, WOW! Talk about everyday epiphanies!!! My life took on new meaning, I enjoyed waking up every morning to the challenges of the new day, and I welcomed every moment in anticipation of the something good that was going to happen. I can see now that this was the “revolution” taking place in my life, directed by the Holy Spirit, as I became increasingly aware of the underlying rhythm of life and my part in it.
And, so, since that time, my New Year’s resolutions have focused more on the revolutionary and transforming changes that I will actively and purposefully focus on, one every month, step by step, slow by slow, until this transformation becomes a habit, develops into a virtue, and integrates into my character. Is this easy? Aaahhhh…by myself, no. But with God all things are possible!
This is my desire and wish for each one of you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, that you will also be able to initiate and experience revolutionary changes in your life this New Year 2011. May our Lord prosper not only the work of your hands but also a revolution in your heart.