This Christmas I got lots of presents and they were all just what I wanted. Here’s my secret: Three months before Christmas, everything I buy I wrap and put in my closet. I stick a label on it: To Dad from Lawrence. To Dad from Mom. Etc.
Come Christmas Day I am excited. All those things I’ve needed and bought, I now get to open. My loved ones are happy because they didn’t have to take time, spend their money and worry if I liked the gift. There’s plenty of unwrapping and presents and it’s just exactly what I wanted. Perfect. You should try it.
I also have a recommendation for a New Year’s Resolution. I have my dear friend Kevin Russell to thank for this one. He showed me an app that lets you read a little bit of the Bible every day. By the end of the year, you have read the entire Bible.
I know, I know. I could do this without an app. But having the reminders and the progress notifications and the cool explanatory videos really makes a difference. It’s called the BibleProject.
Reading sequentially in a defined time frame really drove home to me the perfection of the Bible. It forced me to read some of the minor prophets carefully and filled in missing holes in my understanding. This would be a great New Year’s resolution. Just do it. In fact, I am inclined to start all over again.
I have a couple of New Year’s Resolutions. One is befitting of my age: I vow to replace the desire to win a tennis match with the desire to play the next match injury free. There is a big difference.
I was playing King of the Court at River Hills the other day. I was quite pleased with myself for being by far the oldest person on the court. In some cases, by 30 years. Yet I was running, lunging, whacking, stretching and jumping like the young kids. I held my own.
There was one problem. That night after watching some TV, I got up to go to bed and could barely walk. The dreaded plantar fasciitis. This is one of those ailments that when you tell people you have it a genuine look of sorrow and sympathy crossed their brow. “Oh no!”
My other resolution is to do ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night on the treadmill. I mean, anybody can do anything for just ten minutes, right? By breaking my exercise routine into tiny bits, I hope to overcome lassitude and procrastination. Just this little bit of exercise would cause me to shed two pounds a month! In addition, getting your heart rate up each and every day does wonders for your health.
But the big resolution is much grander in scope. I am going to quit trying to be a better person and, instead, let the Holy Spirit guide and direct me. It’s a fine, but crucial, distinction.
I was raised a Methodist, married in an Episcopalian Church and became a Presbyterian because the church was down the street.
John Calvin, one of Presbyterian’s theological founders, believed in the “total depravity of man.” Sounds depressing.
But what it really means is that although man, by his nature, is incapable of good, the Holy Spirit can do the good for you, if you have faith and let it happen. In a way, it’s like the concept of Karma. Just let it go, get your heart, body and mind in the right place and great things will happen. Quit trying to force it through your will. Just let God’s will work through you.
And that, dear readers, is my big resolution. Wish me Godspeed!
Wyatt Emmerich is the editor and publisher of The Northside Sun, a weekly newspaper in Jackson. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.