2022 New Year's Resolutions
New Year’s is one of those times to pause and reflect on who we are and what we are doing. It’s a time to sharpen our metaphorical blades and be deliberate. What do I need to do to better “walk the talk” and be what God created me to be? God created me in His image and likeness, bought and freed by Jesus Christ, and sent out to preach, teach, and baptize. How do I do this even more deliberately?
The past couple of years have been full of challenges, struggles and losses, 2021 in particular I would say. I myself have not always transcended my challenges. I have not always been successful in remaining impartial to political or philosophical ideologies that work hard to divide and weaken our common Orthodox witness to Christ. I have judged and accused those who have judged me of all kinds of worldly and spiritual sins, I have tried to hide and disguise myself, or openly displayed characteristics of the political divides. I have been harsh in judging others for not following what I think is best at any given moment, I have failed to love and cherish everyone. For all these things I need to repent.
Repentance is a change of mind, a change of heart. This mindset that we all must cultivate is a way of seeing the world, experiencing God, and being with each other. The first Christians lived and were called “The Way”. Christ is the Way, the Truth, the Law, the Gift, and the Savior. He shows us the way to correct life, real freedom, joy, peace, and happiness. I have not always acted in this “way” that reflects God’s joy, peace, mercy, kindness and forgiveness. How can I claim to be God’s own and not follow His way? For me, 2021 has been a year worth of reasons to pause, rethink, reprioritize, recommit, and repent.
What does such repentance look like? My spiritual father often reminds me it’s about thankfulness. He has opened my eyes and my heart to being grateful to God in and for all things. I’m thankful that He is merciful, and I’m thankful that we have this option to be one in Christ and one with each other every time we gather together. I’m learning to be thankful even when we disagree about politics, philosophy, academics, and everything else in between. Most importantly I am thankful that he constantly reminds me that as Orthodox Christians we agree on God’s love, and for this we transcend all earthly cares to be together in the Kingdom of God, which is of course at hand.
So when I fall or fail, I commit to trying again and again to get up and move forward. To try better to redirect others to God as Christ has shown us in the Gospel accounts. And I resolve and commit again to try and show everyone God’s mercy even when others are anxious or frightened. These are some of my reflections and resolutions for the New Year. Christ is born glorify Him!
+ Rev Yanni Michaelidis