Faith in Fiction Tuesday

Actually I intended to participate on Monday in Faith in Fiction Saturday posted at My Friend Amy’s Blog, but I forgot. But operating on the better-late-than-never premise, we’ll tackle the latest topic today.

I thought it might be beneficial to talk about our New Year’s resolutions. Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? Do any of your resolutions pertain to your spiritual disciplines or to your reading life?

I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. The things I wrote down started looking the same year after year. They weren’t encouraging me to something but discouraging me because of my failure (often quite soon) to meet any of my desired ends.

I don’t remember what all I had on my list. Some were spiritual goals, others physical, social, emotional, intellectual. I tried for a balance—and failed quite spectacularly on a regular basis.

I also stopped making resolutions because as a teacher I had a regular evaluation at the end of each school year. Plus I had the entire summer to find motivation to change the way I did things. Consequently, January resolutions seemed redundant and often served as a reminder that what I’d set out to do in September was off the table. I had no realistic hope that putting it back on the table in January would bring any different results.

The year I stopped doing resolutions, I felt quite free.

What I’ve realized, however, is that I have begun to pray for things I once resolved to change. I like that considerably better.

Sometimes praying for something I have not done and do not want to do brings me up short. How serious am I? Can I ask God to help me if I have no intention of doing what I know I need to do to be successful?

Another benefit is that answered prayer offers me an opportunity to praise God for His grace and mercy. Keeping my resolutions (I imagine, since it never happened) only offered me an opportunity to be prideful and self-congratulatory.

For those who benefit from making New Year’s resolutions, please understand I am not making a categorical statement about all resolutions. This is merely my experience.

Now rather than resolving to write first thing in my work day, I pray about such a thing. I pray I’ll complete my editing jobs, that God will continue to grow the CSFF Blog Tour, that I’ll improve the opening to Against Blood and Fire, and so on. I pray about character issues, too, things I want God to build into my life.

I don’t know—prayer seems to take the pressure off, while resolutions seemed to put the pressure on. But that’s probably just me. 😕

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 9:00 am  Comments Off on Faith in Fiction Tuesday  
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