Statistics say that 40 to 45% of American adults will make one or more resolutions this new year. 34% will set resolutions related to money, 38% will set resolutions related to weight, 47% will set resolutions related to self-improvement or education and 31% will set resolutions related to relationships. So less than half of us will even make them…but how will that less that half do about KEEPING them? Again, statistics bear out that 75% will still be keeping their resolution past the first week, 71% will make it past 2 weeks, the number will be down to 64% after one month, and after 6 months only 46% of that original 45% will still be keeping their resolutions.
I don’t know about you, but 2010 has been a pretty big year in my life and the lives of my family. Among the biggest things that happened to us involved our two boys. My oldest son graduated from college this spring. Wow! How did THAT happen? I swear it was just a few days ago that he was a pre-schooler, running around pretending to be a superhero. Now…he’s “all growed up”! We went from supporting him as he went through college (and PAYING for college!) to trying to schedule times when he can come home for the weekend or we can go and see him. It’s hard to believe…and adjust to.
I am a big fan of adventure movies, and one of my favorite movie characters of all time is Indiana Jones. In Raiders of the Lost Ark (the 1st and best of the series, followed pretty closely by The Last Crusade, with The Temple of Doom and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull tied at a relatively distant 3rd!) Indy meets up with Marion Ravenwood, a long-lost love. After a…stormy…reunion, she says to him, “You’re not the man I knew 10 years ago.” To which he replies, “It’s not the years, honey- it’s the mileage!”
I LOVE Christmas music! I really do! I have shared before that the 2 radio stations I listen to most- one a contemporary Christian station and the other a classic rock station- both go to Christmas music 24/7 beginning on Thanksgiving Day. I then spend the next month driving my family absolutely CRAZY. The radio goes on the moment I get up, and it is on basically all day! I have heard more Christmas music this season than I thought actually existed! And therein lies the rub!
What was the BEST gift YOU got this Christmas? When the Nicholas Cage movie National Treasure first came out, we went to see it. (My boys and I love a good, relatively implausible action movie!) After it was over, we were talking about it. My older son said, “As the movie went on, I began to worry that the treasure was going to turn out to be something lame…like love of family!” (He was, at some level, kidding! We actually love each other very much!) But that mentality DOES raise an interesting point. When I ask the question that started today’s entry, you probably automatically thought something like, “OK. He’s going to talk about gifts, then lead to something about Jesus being the best gift he got! So predictable!” Well, hate to burst your bubble…but WRONG!
“Yes it’s over…call it a day. Sorry that it had to end this way.” Those bittersweet words, crooned so well by Johnny Mathis, sum up may folks’ feelings today! Christmas came, Christmas went, and we feel as if it ran over us on the way by! In fact, I had a REALLY strange experience about Christmas being over a few days ago! It was on the 21st, a full 4 days BEFORE Christmas, and I was working on the church bulletin for today’s service- the 26th. When you write things (Bulletins, newsletters, whatever) that are for a future time, you have to put your mindset in THAT time frame, as opposed to the one you are actually in. So I’m sitting in my living room working on a bulletin on my laptop at 8PM on the 21st of December, while in my mind it was the 26th of December. On the TV, a commercial started playing that included a kid looking at a Santa snow globe while Nat King Cole’s version of The Christmas Song (“Chestnuts roasting”…and all that!) was playing in the background. I looked up from the computer and said, “Why are they playing that NOW…AFTER Christmas?!” My wife and son looked at me like I had lost my mind…a real possibility, and then I realized what I had done. I mumbled some half-hearted explanation and then went back to my work, hoping they would just forget the whole thing!
When I was a kid, Mrs. Martin used to make my birthday cakes. She was a lady who lived up the road (I grew up out in the middle of nowhere…we didn’t have streets…we had ROADS!) and she made cakes shaped like animals. And I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen! (I was 14 years old at the time…but don’t laugh at me!) Actually, I was about 5 years old, and I remember seeing a picture of me, on my knees on a stool at the kitchen counter, holding the edge of a cake shaped like a lamb so that it tipped forward for the camera. I had a MASSIVE smile on my face!