This is the first of day the new year, and traditionally a time for resolutions. As long as we recognize that there is nothing intrinsically magic about calendar years, church years, fiscal years, or academic years, we can continue to use them as tools, keeping a prudent eye out. So it is all good, but we should want to make headway in what we do, in every area.
Your resolutions will vary, but they frequently revolve around common shared desires we have – getting more organized, losing some weight, spending more time with family, etc. All of this is good and fine so far as it goes. But if the point of such resolutions is to do something new, then making the same old resolutions for ten years in a row doesn’t really qualify, does it? When we get tired of that, we sometimes think that our only choices are between the futility of making the same resolutions again, and the futility of giving up. But there is a third way.
The one thing I would suggest to you is this. Mankind was created to exercise dominion, to get control of an unruly world. The fall of man into sin did not create the problem of hard work, but rather complicated the problem of hard work, making it more tangled. The thistles got tougher, and our willingness to tackle them got weaker.
But one thing did not change. When man was first given dominion over the world, in the cultural mandate God assumed the development of tools. Man is a tool-making creature, and whenever he is making tools, from rudimentary plows to smart phones, he is being essentially human. One of the central lies we have to fight—and we should begin fighting it in our personal behavior, which is what our resolutions are about—is the lie propagated by Rousseau, which is that technology somehow violates what is authentically human. It is a lie that countless millions have bought into, including Christians.
So include the acquisition of tools in your resolutions. Include in your resolutions the intent to learn and master those tools over time. The tools will include programs, apps, screwdrivers, spread sheets, and more. Remember that tools don’t make you wise, but the wise make tools.
Your resolutions will not be fulfilled because they radiate mystically out from your heart. Your resolutions will be fulfilled when you decide in your heart to work with your hands.