Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hopes and Guesses

Well, the end of the year is upon us. Like everybody else I start thinking about the next year. I suppose the story of any year, or any stretch of time at least twelve months in length, is often the story of our going astray, getting a little lost (or a lot lost), and finding ourselves God knows where.

And so the resolutions. Which all amount to this: I will get back on the right path, and I will stay on the right path.

I'm not immune to this. I value new beginnings as much as anyone. Let's say this is one, today, where I'm at. A new beginning. All you need is a little resolve. Take a deep breath, and then take a step. 

But really, as much as I can't help myself, can't keep from thinking this way, and even find it somehow encouraging, still nothing much changes from year to year. I resolve to get more exercise, but then I get about as little exercise as the year before. And so on. 

So I've come to realize that for a resolution to work it has to be accompanied by a strong resolve. Bottom line, don't make yourself promises you can't keep, or don't really mean to keep (be honest), just because it's a new year. Don't set yourself for that inevitable feeling of futility a week or two later.

So me, I don't really have resolutions for the new year. Let us speak instead of hopes and guesses, inclinations, wishes. Think of it as if you were a wanderer who has reached a summit, a place from which to view the next valley and the hills beyond. And from here you can see the suggestion of a trail, and in the distance a pass through the mountains perhaps, so that's the direction you're going to take. And as you go you keep on looking around, staying alert, and sending up prayers so that if you do get lost, you will be lost in the right direction.

OK, that's my resolution.

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