I'm really not the type to make New Years Resolutions because I know I will fail, but mostly: forget. I have, however, since 2007, whilst in the company of 25,000+ youth in St. Louis/Urbana, Missouri have had yearly character reflections. I remember that year it was tenacity. I had chronicled those character reflections on LJ, and perhaps, Facebook. I remember having studied compassion, love/warmth?, trust, joy, and temperance (for the last two years!). Yes, temperance is a big thing, moderation is chalked up in there as well.
With that in mind, I am thinking of this coming year's character reflection. I learned many things this year about myself; about my abilities, and how far my journey with, within, and toward God has grown. I also learned to put my money where my mouth is, and failed at something purposefully. There is a rationale to this, and this exercise is definitely multifaceted, but this one is what I feel comfortable sharing: failure comes the hardest when we least expect it, so why not allow yourself to? This thought stems from a sermon I heard about change. There are two ways to change, one in which wisdom guides you to make changes out of your own volition, or where foolishness drags you kicking and screaming through the mire to learn your lesson. I prefer the prior, always the prior.
Digressing, I know through Psychological study readings, that we have bias in perception about ourselves and our past. We distance the bad -- "But that was what I felt/knew/learnt about myself X-time ago... and this is what I know/feel/learn now." (There was a funny comic my professor included in the lecture slide). So, what about this year's character reflection? What will I be focusing on? I want to be able to say: responsibilities. I'm too scared to say righteousness or graciousness, because those things court a steadfastness that I don't think I'm willing to commit to. Perhaps, commitment? Maybe I need to learn to be wholly and truly committed to something. One of the lessons I learned--rather, remembered, is that I do not like putting all my eggs in the basket.
Commitment. I feel like I've tried to work this as a character reflection, though not officially, but I'm not entirely sure.
"Take pains; be perfect." Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare. "If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in the large ones. But if you are dishonest in the little things, you won't be honest with the greater responsibilities." Luke 16:10, NLT.
At this point, I feel like I suck as a person because I have never been as faithful as I should be in the small things. I don't take things as seriously as they should be. Yes, I've a streak of irreverence, I admit to this. Alas, I must carry on.
Do we really change? I hope so.
That's the transformative power of Jesus at work.