Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Resolutions

So, last night Tim and I held our annual Epiphany Party. It's how we really celebrate the Christmas season with the people we love the most. We have a few of our best friends over and we just laugh and be with each other, a ritual that gets us ready for the new year. We also exchange some gifts in honor of the Three Kings, the memorial that we celebrate at this time. This year one of our friends suggested that we start a new tradition and make new year's resolutions for EACH OTHER.

So we drew names out of a "hat" and went around a circle choosing resolutions of 1. spiritual; 2. physical; and 3. overall improvement. It was a really cool idea and I pray a way to keep us all accountable to each other, our spouses and most importantly our God. Most people make these new year resolutions about what's on the outside, but rarely resolve what's on the inside. I was surprised by what I thought were some REALLY good resolutions we made for each other. I realized that even though the year keeps us from spending a whole lot of time together, we know the things that are most important to each other and the things we need the most.

I thought the resolutions were right on. One friend suggested another friend spend more time in Adoration. Three small kids under 3 makes that hard, but needed. A challenge, but an important goal. Another resolution involved adding exercise to one friend's fairly sedentary lifestyle. Young and beautiful, getting out to walk or join a kick-box class would be just what she needed to help her physically. Two of us ended up picking our spouses. I was one. We definitely THINK we know what's best for the person we will wake up with for the rest of our lives, but having to say it aloud in front of all our friends was a real exercise in authentic charity and humility. It forced me to think that while I think I know what's best for my husband, I need ed to look at what was best for him through God's eyes. In that instant, I was reminded that loving him is not only good for me here on earth, but its my path to eternity. How will he get to heaven? I can help him. One of my friends who I've known for what seems like forever picked me. At one time, I would have said that he probably knew me better than anyone, but the last several years have found us going in different directions with regards to friends, how we practice our Catholic faith, and even how we communicate with others. But he picked me, and it surprised me how well he still knows me and knows what I need for myself and for my relationship with God. His resolutions for me were right on, gentle yet challenging. It surprised me, but didn't. (A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. Sir 6:14)

So, on this night, on this eve of a new year, and in the shadow of the celebration of the Three Kings presentation to Our Lord, their Epiphany, I hope my friends and I accept and embrace the gift we received last night - the Epiphany the Lord spoke to us through our friendships - to love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

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