Wow it’s 2004!
I understand why people say the year’s fly by faster, the older you get.
It seems like just yesterday we were worried that the world would end amidst the Y2K crisis.
Geesh, what were we scared of?
As I sat and pondered this week’s column, I thought about following the example set by the Texas Monthly year end edition and give my own Bum Steer Awards for Belton.
After a few moments, I figured I better gain a little more credibility before I jump on anyone else’s case.
So like most columnists you’ll read this month, I’ll fit the typical mold and share my New Year’s Resolutions.
Now I’m not sharing this really for your benefit, but more for mine.
I’m a guy who can always use accountability.
Like scripture says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
So, I’m sharing my resolutions for you to hold me accountable to them.
Of course in doing so I realize I’m opening myself up to judgement and critique, so you better uphold your end of the bargain.
My good friend Aaron told me today, that since most resolutions go overlooked or ignored, the wisest thing to do is resolve to eat more junk food and stop exercising. He might have a very good point there.
But, my goal is to fulfill these resolutions — and to get you, the wonderful reader, to help me. So here we go.
In 2004 I resolve:
To loose 20 pounds by June 1.
Now I must admit, this one is probably the first resolution to go, maybe that’s why it’s first on the list.
To exercise more, including running at least three times a week.
This running shall not include running to the kitchen during commercial breaks, but quality running for an extended period of time. (This is also probably one of the first to go, but it feels good to say it.)
To write my stories and columns earlier in the week so I and others have a chance to proof and edit them several times before they go to the press. (Just a note, most of this column was written two days before press time – I’m doing good so far.)
To cover my body with at least three more tattoos. (Just kidding mom).
To become more active in the things of God.
This is a big one.
I’m always regretting that I spend too much time worrying about me and staying busy with things I need to get done, rather than focusing on things of eternal value. I’ve said it before, but I believe my favorite quote of all times is by C.S. Lewis, “All that is not eternal is eternally insignificant.” If I’m not focusing on the things God is focusing on, then I’m wasting my time and my life is truly nothing more than a vapor of smoke.
To become more active in loving and helping my fellow man.
Ben’s example a couple weeks ago reminded me of the needs that are around us every day, in Belton and around the world.
Thousands of people go hungry and thousands more die every day and we turn our eyes away because we’re too busy to notice or care. Personally I’ve become a part of DATA and hope to step up my evolvement this year. I won’t spend much time giving you the details — this week — but visit their website if you’re interested: www.data.org. As a part of this resolution, I also resolve that I don’t get sidetracked by an international issue and forget about loving my neighbors around me every day.
To tell my friends and family, “I love you,” more often.
This might get be a little awkward sometimes in a group of guys, but it’s still needed to be said. Sometimes this phrase is tossed about carelessly by people, but it’s also too often overlooked and not said sincerely enough. May my friends and family never wonder how much I truly care for them.
To find and highlight more of the good in people. (Good thing I live in Belton.)
Sometimes I feel like we, the media, only print and show the negative side of stories. I really wish we had more room in the newspaper to highlight all the good things people do, every day. We do print as many as we can. But for each story you read, there are hundreds of examples of goodness that go on in our midst.
Finally, I’ll take some advice from Joe Baisden:
To be more reliable.
May my yes be yes and my no be no. May you always be able to count on me to show up and do the things I say I will.
May my word be my bond.
No matter what the story is, no matter where I am, may I be enthusiastic and do all things without groaning or complaining. “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” (Philippians 2:13-15) May I rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. May my gentleness be evident to all. (Phil. 4:4)
Do more than is required.
May I always fulfill my duties and always be willing to go the extra mile. Whether it’s stopping to sweep the floor, clean a toilet or spending time talking to a stranger. “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” – Matthew 5:41. I know I can find a number of other areas I need personal improvement in, but I think these few may take the next 50 years at least to even come close to perfecting.
But above all, I hope and pray that at the end of 2004, we can each look back at our year and say “I know I am closer to God today, than I was Jan. 1, 2004.”
Happy New Year and may your year be blessed.
Now you better hold me accountable!