The great New Year’s question

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 7, 2017

OK, boys and girls, it is that time again. It is that time when, as we are few days into the new year, when we begin to reassess those pesky resolutions we were so resolved to complete and stand fast, only a few days ago.

Given our recalcitrant natures, perhaps we are now unsure of our resolve, as we stand upon the quicksand of our committals.

Remarkably, no longer do our bloated physiques look so off-putting. No longer does the expense and onerous odors, coupled with the oft upturned noses, deter us from our smoking. Perhaps, we justify, the swearing-off of other similar habits may be delayed, just a bit longer.

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If we are really honest with ourselves, and let us acknowledge we do the best lying to ourselves, then we must acknowledge the setting of the resolutions is usually done with the best of intentions. No one is going to set a goal to start smoking, eat 10,000 calories a day, or beat the cat three times a week. No, we are attempting to make real choices to improve our lot in life and, tangentially, those around us.

Indeed it does come down to choices, and the great New Year question is this: “Do I want piece, or peace?” Sure, it is only the substitution of a few letters, but the change makes a remarkable  difference in the choice we make.

So many approach life with the WIFM principle. In other words, “What’s in it for me?”

They are aggressively seeking their “piece of the action,” or, “their piece of the pie,” being goaded along by their egos and skewed paradigms. Consistently disappointed in their pursuit, they retry to get

their “piece,” with the bitterness of failed goals resounding in the mists of their perspectives on life.

Yet, it does not have to be this way. As God has given us the choice to be miserable, He also gives us the choice to be content. If we stand away from God, we do so by choice. If we stand with God, we also do this by choice. It is the dichotomy of our Christian Faith.

Today, we are intimately aware of the conflicts of humankind, both amongst ourselves, and in the larger community. Of course, it does not have to be this way, if we actively believe in the power of God and the love of Christ Jesus and His message. Yet,  it all comes down to the choices which we make. It is really no more complicated than this, even though we may dress it up with excuses.

Those who choose their “piece,” have a penchant to stand with the world and all of the influences which they are constantly enticed them to pursue. Those who choose their “peace,” understand the sublime satisfaction of doing the right thing, not only for themselves, but also for others, by honoring their Creator and the sacrifice of His Son for us.

Vince Gill, the well-known country music artist, composed a Christmas song, which reverberates with these choices for the new year. It part, the lyrics are: “Let there be peace on earth, And let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, The peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father, Brothers all are we. Let me walk with my brother, In perfect harmony.”

Let us re-consider our resolutions for this new year. Peace…not a bad resolution for 2017, and the rest of our lives. It is a choice we can all live with.

By Fr. Jonathan J. Filkins