We are near the beginning of 2013, and I’m wondering if you made any New Year’s resolutions. Pollsters tell us that half of Americans make resolutions at the beginning of each year, and most of the resolutions have to do with personal patterns such as eating healthier and exercising more. Some people set goals for stopping a negative habit or starting something to improve their lives.
I have decided that I want to be a better, more careful, and more caring listener. When someone is speaking to me, I want to listen to what she or he says. And, then, I want to wait at least a second before replying. My hope is that, rather than preparing for my reply while someone else is still talking, I will listen fully to what she is saying. Then, by waiting before I speak, I will respond in ways that are more supportive and helpful. As the year goes along, you are welcome to ask me how this is going – and see if I listen carefully to your question!
Most resolutions are personal in nature and may be accomplished with little involvement from others. What if we tried something different this year? What if we thought of communal resolutions for the new year. Rather than focusing solely on what I want to accomplish all by myself, what if I reflected on a group of which I am a part? Then, perhaps I could think of ways the group could resolve to do something together in the coming year.
For example, think of a group in which you participate such as a Sunday School class, a book club, or a neighborhood association. As you envision this group in 2013, are there activities you would like the group to do together? Are there goals you would like to accomplish together? Can you imagine yourself at the end of this year looking back on what took place? As you consider the end of 2013, are there things that will make you pleased to have been a part of the group throughout the year.
If you have ideas, suggestions, or feedback about communal resolutions for the new year, I invite you share them. You may send an e-mail message to Dean@FernwoodChurch.org.
Happy New Year!