New Year’s is such a reassuring holiday. Whatever is happening in the world, however crazy a year it has been, a new year still comes. A fresh start. A natural reset.
When Earth begins another annual pilgrimage around the sun, it’s a reminder that amidst change, there is constancy. We grow older as the years pass, but Earth still moves along the same orbit, around the same sun, as it has for billions of years. It’s a comfort that the sun doesn’t revolve around us. We revolve around it—our reliable, constant source of light and life, which allows us to flourish insofar as we are properly oriented around it.
And so it also goes for our souls. Whatever happened last year, whatever will come this year or next, we can rest in God’s constancy. If we orient our lives around him as the fixed, steadfast, unchanging source of life and light, we will flourish. Our growth depends on right orientation; the proper ordering of things: rhythms, priorities, habits, etc. In a world more chaotic than ever, where consumerism and choice overload leave us dizzy and unmoored, we need rules and guidance for proper orientation and ordering. That’s part of why I created the Wisdom Pyramid (see here, or the image at the bottom of this post) a few years back: as a guide to help me order my life around the right proportions of intakes and sources of knowledge.
My resolutions for 2019 are ordered along similar priorities, and many of them could and should apply to every year, not just 2019. Here are 19 (of doubtless many more) habits I hope to cultivate in 2019:
Glorify God and enjoy him.
Read God’s Word daily and relish it.
Become more like Jesus.
Help others become more like Jesus.
Worship God passionately in and outside of church.
Let the church calendar order my time-keeping.
Don’t fit church around everything else; fit everything else around church.
Embrace the uncomfortable, inconvenient, countercultural, not-making-my-life-easier aspects of faithful local church life.
Fight against creeping tendencies to treat Jesus and Christianity as just one of many options for enhancing life, discovering meaning, becoming better, etc.
Embrace and bear witness to the radical, disruptive, categorically-different-from-everything-else nature of Christianity. (Put into practice many of the tips in this great book).
Love my wife like Christ loves the church.
Love my son like the Father loves us.
Love my neighbors and show them hospitality.
Be present with my people, with no screens (TV, phone, computer) vying for my attention.
Be more attentive to, and learn from, creation: the physical body, seasons, weather, birds, landscapes, food, etc.
Write about the arts and culture in ways that puncture holes in the immanent frame, unsettle secular assumptions, and help people glorify God and enjoy him.
Use more nouns, and fewer adjectives, in my writing.
Read more poems and fiction, especially time-tested works.
Use social media to praise what is good and commend what is commendable, rather than using it to complain or rant or pile on.