Slogans and Resolutions?

January 16, 2012 | Blog | 1 Comment

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.

Failure isn’t fatal – you can start again in the New Year!

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.

What do you think of all the slogans and greetings that surround the New Year?
They pop up everywhere and many make you laugh, or maybe wince, but I‘ve noticed that even so quite a lot contain a kernel of truth. These are a few slogans and quotes I’ve seen around during the last few weeks from church notice boards, my gym, newspapers and other places.

I’m not much of a one for New Year slogans, and especially resolutions – maybe they scare me and I feel set up for failure or maybe I just have enough to keep going on with! As I considered this slogan phenomenon I wondered what I would write if I had to come up with one; surely my faith in God and my life’s direction would influence the outcome in a big way.  The way I see things the New Year as an event or a date on the calendar doesn’t bring much change for me, though for some I know it’s a chance to say goodbye to a year that has been particularly difficult or painful – and I’ve had a couple of those over the years and enjoyed saying a resounding Goodbye!

I do recall a wonderful book I read some years ago by Eugene Peterson on the Psalms of Ascent entitled: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an instant society.  Peterson drew his title from a statement by Freidrich Nietzsche “The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is   that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which made life worth living.” Peterson comments that “It is this “long obedience in the same direction” which the mood of the world does so much to discourage.” (p 17)

So, if I was pressed I guess my slogan for the year would be the same: Long Obedience in the Same Direction, and I would be speaking to myself to keep going – to be both a disciple who is learning and a pilgrim who is journeying (those thoughts are Peterson’s too lest I should be accused of plagiarism!)  So, if you want a good read to start the year with a long view, try Peterson’s book (details below).  Otherwise, if you are a slogan person, one last little quote from Jonathan Edwards might set you up to keep going all year:

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the New Year

Eugene Peterson, A long Obedience in the Same Direction, IVP, 2nd ed, 2000
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. Helen Zimmern (London: 19-07), sec. 188

1 Comment to "Slogans and Resolutions?

  • Jeffrey Smith On 16/2/2012 @ 10:22 AM

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