What was your New Year's Resolution? Can you remember? If so, when did you give up? Haven't? Congratulations, you're in the top 20%. According to US News, 80% of people have failed their resolutions by the second week of February. So what's wrong with the rest of us?
There are all kinds of explanations about goals being too lofty or complicated. I'll say the best I have done on Lenten practices and resolutions have been when I've been real clear about what I wanted to do or not do (for example, stop drinking soft drinks), rather than some vague goal (pray more).
There is certainly value to what social scientists will teach us about this phenomenon, but Paul got to the quick of it 2000 years ago - I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15).
As Rev. Cattenhead will remind us Sunday in the sanctuary (drawing from Romans 8:1-11), there is a tug of war going on inside us. We want to do and be better and, yet, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. I look forward to hearing his guidance what to do with this tug of war.
I also look forward to thinking with those in The Well about our family. Not the family with whom I share DNA, although they are reflected in the family I'm thinking of. It's remarkable - and important - to me that Genesis shows us our Biblical family, warts and all.
Abraham is known as the father of faith and he made some very questionable decisions along the way. Grandson Jacob is quite a story (the scripture we'll read tells just a bit of his tale - Genesis 25:19-34). On and on these ancestors go and, wow, are the revelations something.
What we realize is that the war within that Paul observed has been going on for a long time and "family values," when you look at the Biblical examples of how they played out, aren't always the values we'd expect. Those people struggled, too, and despite that, thank God, they continued to receive God's care.
Join us Sunday as we thank God for continuing to show us his care, too, no matter how many resolutions or Biblical laws we've broken.