Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Resolution #1: Love God

My first resolution is the same one as last year and the year before: Love God.

It’s okay to make the same resolution every year, I think. It’s even good. The new year is a time to take stock, to remember where we are and where we’re going, and if you find every year that your first thing is still your first thing . . . well, that’s good. It means you were probably right about your priorities. It means you just might be fitting into that wonderful description of the Christian life: “A long obedience in the same direction.”

Anyway, where it gets fun and very New-Year’s-y is in the details. What are you going to try to do, specifically, that will help you (specifically!) to love God better? What are your disciplines, your practices?

Specific Goals
Here are mine, for this year:

1) Keep using the St. James devotional to read (listen) through the Bible. Currently I’m listening through the assigned passages 3-4 times a week.

2) Keep listening through Proverbs every month. Ideally, this is one chapter a day, but often I listen to them about 4 or 5 at a time, to catch up.

3) Scripture memorization. I have no good plan for this. I need to think about this. (Revisit in Feb? Tie it to fast times in the church calendar?) (ETA: my husband is interested in working on this together. Yay!)

4) Observe the traditional Christian fasts. Not in a heroic way, but just in a basic eat-less-eat-boring way (sort of like the Orthodox do). This would be Wednesdays, Fridays, Lent, and Advent, basically (I think). I don’t want to do this, but I feel like I should. Just because, well, it’s what Christians have always done, and all the saints say it’s helpful in killing the passions, and it’s conducive to prayer.

5) Pray regularly. I want to be more deliberate about this this year. Unless and until I come up with a better plan, I’m just going to plan on saying an (Anglican) rosary morning and evening.

6) Pray for others. I also want to get better at praying for others, especially those in my family and church. Not sure how to do this either, but maybe I can (ha!) pray about it during January, and revisit it in February. (Update: my husband is interested in doing this with me, using the BCP’s Prayers of the People.)

What about you?
Talk about your devotional goals in the comments, or link to your post about your goals. I’ll add any links to the body of this post, so they’re easier for others to see and visit.


Anna Ilona Mussmann said...

Your resolution to fast/eat more boringly during appropriate liturgical days is inspiring. It's the sort of thing that is hard for me to do, because I love food so much and don't have as much discipline as I should when I'm around food. Probably that means that I ought to try such fasting myself.

jen said...

i'm committing to do some form of the examen prayer every night.

Jessica Snell said...

thanks, Anna! we'll have to try it together - I admit it's one of those things that sounds "good for me" in that sort of dragging-my-heels kind of way! :)

Jen, that's perfect. Are you thinking of the Ignatian model?