Thursday, January 1, 2009
Resolutions Aren't Stupid
Most of us can say that 2008 was a pretty tough year. During long periods of adversity and discouragement, everything seems to push us to fall into the worst of conditions, that awful and hopeless state of "eh, whatever" (something the early fathers called "accidie"). Our inner resolve is crushed and the idea of making resolutions seems absurd and useless.
But, the early Christian writer Tatian writes, during a time when Christians were regularly crushed (and burned and fed to lions), "I wish to put away my former errors as the follies of childhood. For we know that the nature of wickedness is like that of the smallest seeds; since it has waxed strong from a small beginning, but will again be destroyed if we obey the words of God and do not scatter ourselves."(1)
He resolved to catch sin in its baby seed form, to be focused on repentance, than scattered in this thought and that one. In other words, let us resolve this year to crush that seed of evil - that first hopeless, depressing, angry, jealous, lustful, hateful or sneaky thought - each time, before it towers over us like a tree.
*Address to the Greeks, Ch. 30