It’s the holiday season and New Year’s Resolutions take too much work (resolve) both to write and to enact. So for a few laughs and as an occasion for reflection I offer up the following 15 New Year’s Resignations for 2015. Feel free to join me LEs or ignore me and get back to celebrating with your family. You know you can turn this internet thing off, right?
1. Stop Presidential Primary Watching
Jeb Bush is in! I can’t help it. As a bit of a political junkie who usually lands somewhere in the middle of the two parties, I love it when both parties have primaries. But good grief!!! It sure seems early for this. So not this year! I won’t change the channel if it comes on, but no primary coverage binges for me in 2015. There will be plenty of time for wackiness in 2016.
2. Stopping Abusing the Snooze
I don’t feel so bad about my 5:50 snooze to get up and start the coffee and turn up the heat, nor do I feel bad about the snooze that I use to wake our son. But the next two just make my wife angry. So here’s your new year’s present dear…two snoozes only during the week and maybe three on weekends.
3. Stop Using the Penultimate Hymn as a Bathroom Break
With their colorful history you’d expect the Scots to have a more lively musical tradition, but alas. The Presbyterian hymnal is really fit only for funerals. Maybe it’s my Pentecostal upbringing raising its head, but I just can’t deal with four of those hymns per service. I usually manage to duck out for at least one, and blame it on a final cup of coffee. So this year, I shall stay in my pew and use the third hymn as an opportunity to fill out my check and tithe envelope instead.
4. Stop Counting Hits and Wondering Why This Blog has so Many.
It’s been read 28492 times at last count, exponentially more than most of my posts. WHY? I’ve tried to figure it out, but can’t. It’s kept me up nights. And I still have no idea. So in 2015 I’m just going to let it go. So good-bye Josiah Bartlett, we miss your steady hand at the rudder of the ship of state.
5. Stop the White Hairs.
Enough already. The “distinguished looking” stage should be sufficient.
6. Stop Plugging the Books.
What books you ask? Good Question! Lost in the Middle? Claiming an Inclusive Faith for Christians Who Are Both Liberal and Evangelical and Found in the Middle! Theology and Ethics for Christians Who Are Both Liberal and Evangelical, both by Wesley Wildman and Stephen Chapin Garner. They’re great reads and the impetus behind the website. Christmas or New Year’s presents?
7. Stop Pretending that I’ll Actually Do #6.
Ain’t gonna happen #6, so perhaps #7.
8. Stop the “us” Language in Regards to Euro/Western History and Culture.
This is the big one. Back when I was a youth minister in Needham, MA I challenged my Seniors not to give up something, but to change something for Lent. I’ll never forget what one of my kids, his name was Aaron, decided to try. For Lent, we decided to work on changing his language, specifically to stop using “gay” as a synonym for lame or stupid or boring. That Aaron was a profound seventeen year old. Language matters, perhaps more than we think, and I have some sloppy linguistic habits of my own that need breaking in 2015. One of the things that I habitually do when I lecture on World Religions is unreflectively use the first person plural family of pronouns (we, us, our, nos, notre, nous) when talking about Western religions and philosophical traditions. This is no longer a defensible verbal habit and it actually works to undo some of the lessons that I’m working to teach in that class by reinforcing boundaries that a good class in World Religions ought to tear down.
I do, however, reserve the right to use first person pronouns (I, me, mine, je, me, ma, mes) when talking about all things Southern. Ya’ll better just get used to it.