By Father G. Robert Gross
Special to The Witness
We have begun the new year of 2019. I have been suspicious of new year resolutions because I never really kept them much longer than January. But there was a change last year. Last year, I made a resolution that went like this, “I will not rush anymore and give the time I need for each task.”
I did this because when we rush, we are never present. We are thinking of the next thing. I found myself doing that a lot. How successful was I over the course of the year? I did well sometimes, and there were times that I didn’t. What has endured is that I still remember the resolution. It is something that goes through my mind each day. I will do it again this year. I hopefully will grow in this virtue. I need to choose to live it. I choose to be present to the present.
The same is true for this year’s resolution. I am resolving to end my swearing. Yep, this priest swears. It is a habit that has been in my family since I was a little kid. There has been a part of me that doesn’t think it is wrong, but the more I reflect on it, I realize that it is unbecoming of a minister of Christ. Even though the world is vulgar now more than ever, that doesn’t mean I have to join in it.
Most of the time when I swear I am angry. So now I have a question that I ask myself when I am angry that has really helped, “Is this the end of the world?” And every time I ask this question, I answer, “No.” So this resolution and the one from last year leads to a choice. I have to choose the resolution every day. So how can I stay faithful to that? By having accountability.
I have told some key people in my life about this resolution, and I have given them permission to call me out when I do fail in the resolution. The steps of making a resolution are:
- Be held accountable.
- Starting over a lot.
That’s the key. We need to choose it. We need someone to be accountable to. And we need to be ready to fail and be willing to get back up to be better people with God’s grace.
People can change. We have to choose from the place of our will and not from our emotions. If we choose from our emotions, we will never change.
May God bless you as you take steps towards being more human and more Christlike!
Father Gross is pastor of St. Aloysius, Calmar; Our Lady of Seven Dolors, Festina; St. Francis de Sales, Ossian; St. Wenceslaus, Spillville.
Photo courtesy Pixabay.