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Jan 20, 2012

New year resolutions 2012


I was on Skype with a non-Christian friend yesterday. Here was how our conversation went...

Friend: 
“... everyone’s saving up money now for the coming Chinese (Lunar) New Year.”

Me:
“Yeah. But I hate Chinese New Year. It makes no difference whether I celebrate or not.”

Friend:
“I like Chinese New Year! It’s the time I assess and review my previous resolutions and make new ones for the coming year.”

That gave me a wake-up call, a reminder that there are good reasons why we should make resolutions and to assess our achievements and failures at the end of the year; to give thanks to the Lord for everything we have gone through, be it success or failures, because our experiences help us grow in maturity and strengthen our relationship with God.

Looking back, I realised I have gone quite far last year, compared to the years before, made possible by the good Lord. I really cannot imagine my life without Him. Thank you, Lord, with my whole heart and soul!

This year, I have decided to list down my resolutions. Definitely not to show off but as a self reminder that, like 2011, Year 2012 will zoom pass without me realising it and thus I should be clear about what I want to achieve this year, and waste no time to work towards the target or dream.

I want this year to be lived fully for Him alone...

1. Pray more, read more, reflect more, listen more, write more, and talk when necessary. This is how I would love to spend time with the Lover of my soul. I have a lot of Christian books lying on the bookshelf begging me to read them. I still have lots of books on my reading list too. Most of these books are thoughts provoking books by the saints and other well known author, which I borrowed from the Carmelite sisters. The only way to keep my mind active and intoxicated with Christ is through reading. If I do not start today, then when is the best time?

2. A silent retreat. I need a retreat desperately, but not the type of retreat with praising and worshipping in loud music (i.e. youth camps), attending talks and seminars which involve charismatic renewal (and anything charismatic), and anything of that sort which are noisy. My daily life in the hustle and bustle of the city is noisy enough, and I do not want any more noise to crowd out that still, small voice of God I long to hear. Therefore I am looking for a retreat centre that offers silent retreats. This year, I hope I will receive an answer from God for my vocation.

3. Practise humility. This resolution was added to the list towards the end of last year, and I would like to carry it forward into 2012. It is right and just that a servant be humble. If Jesus, a King, is able to bend low and wash His disciples’ feet, how much more should I, a servant, prostrate before Him in humble submission and service? “Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love...” (Prayer of St Francis).

4. To be physically and spiritually fit. I am somewhat a health freak because I do understand that only with a sound mind and body can I give myself in total service to God and His people. Since my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20), it is even more so that I should keep myself fit physically, and strive for holiness (1 Pet 1:14-16).

5. Put faith into action. I was in a Catholic Chatroom when I saw how a Protestant (who claimed himself a pastor) cursing the Catholic Church using all the foul languages ever existed. Is this really how a Christian should behave? Are lip services more than enough? “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17). I always tell friends that I detest those who do not practise what they preach, without realising that it is a strong statement which might force me to swallow my own words if I make the same mistake. And so I’m trying my best this year to judge less, speak more words of encouragement and compliment, and put love into action.

I do not know what 2012 holds for me. Undoubtedly, there will certainly be more workload. Perhaps more heartaches, more being taken for granted and being misunderstood; probably more disappointments, more obstacles to overcome, more storms to fight... but amidst all the difficulties that may come along the way, I pray that the Lord will continue to walk with me, for the joy of the Lord is my strength.

A blessed new year 2012, brothers and sisters in Christ!
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