Christmas is over. It’s always so anti-climactic. We build up and build up and build up, then we have the flurry of activity—opening presents and feasting—and then the next day we toss the tree out onto the curb. Some people are inclined to depression during the Holidays. I suspect that this is because we hope that, this year of all years, the celebrations, getting of gifts, and time with friends and family will give satisfaction. It doesn’t, and on the the 26th we are left feeling cold and empty.
This feeling of emptiness combined with the advent of the New Year produces a flurry of activity: New Year’s resolutions. We resolve to do a number of things in the coming year that will increase our quality of life so that, perhaps, our lives won’t feel as empty. So, we’ll promise to eat less, to exercise more, to lose weight, to spend more time with our kids, to spend less money, to save more, or to do more of that hobby we really like. Perhaps, even, we’ll promise to go to church more often, because that’s where God is.
Of course, this way of doing things can actually be helpful for personal reflection. I just wish that, instead of resolving to do the things that we think will give us more personal happiness, we would resolve to follow Christ more than we did the year before—that we would resolve to bear our crosses with greater and greater joy. Pete Enns who blogs here shared this letter to self the other day:
Here are things you can’t control:
- other people
Here is something you can control:
There’s more, but this should be enough to keep you occupied in 2012.
I’m with Dr. Enns. To that end, I have made some changes starting two days ago for the new year.
First, I am deleting my Twitter account. I have occasionally blogged about how I spend too much time engaged to social media and, even when—time wise—I am using it responsibly, I still get caught up in image perception. I care way too much about the way people perceive me. Additionally, social media allows me to zero in on specific issues that do not affect me, the people around me, or anyone I know. While knowledge of what is going on the world is important, it is also vital that I do not inundate myself with information that will draw from me emotion and time that I can ill afford. It is a curse of our digital age that I can customize my news. It’s possible to read only that which I care about and is written from a perspective that I share. Twitter was particularly bad about that, though Facebook also had its issues.
Second, I am modifying the way that I use Facebook. Facebook should be about staying connected with friends and family. Since that is what I want it to be, I will no longer inundate people’s news feeds with every article I read. I will post things on Facebook that aid in sharing my life with my friends and family, rather than as an internet rag onto which to scrawl every belief and opinion which I hold. For instance, I’m interested in treating Facebook the way I did over Christmas—very consciously updating it with pictures about how Christmas was progressing with my family. In so doing, I want to deepen existing relationships.
In any case, I want 2012 to be more about the people around me, not the people thousands of miles away also on the internet. I want 2012 to be more about hearing God and doing what he says. I think I’m starting to internalize that this whole Jesus thing demands my entire life—it demands all that I am.
Happy New Year! Be safe tonight.