The gifts are unwrapped and the Christmas lights have faded, the end of the holiday season marked by the fall of the Times Square crystal-studded ball. The month of January comes with a wave of hope and expectation, often tinted by anxiety about the future.
It’s become a bit fashionable to mock the idea of a New Year Resolution—the resolve to accomplish some specific individual goal, typically to improve our lives. The grumbling about packed gyms and lofty reading plans is common for a reason, as many people often do not resolve what they set out to do. But before we scoff at the idea, let us first think about what it means to set our minds on things above (Col. 3:2) as we “put on the new self” (Eph. 4:24). Isn’t this biblical call a resolution?
I believe in the New Year Resolution, because I believe it is good and noble to resolve to live a better story. Author Robert McKee says that, “humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they won’t enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen.” The New Year Resolution can be, in and of itself, an inciting incident, the decision to disrupt what’s comfortable and normal.
All of us at Covenant are a people seeking to live a better story. That’s how we got here. We believe that our stories are written by the God of the universe, the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). We have resolved that what society says an education is does not reflect the wonder of learning how to live life well—of learning how to be wholly human. We read great books and memorize scripture and study the stars because we know that these things show us the way home. The day you filled out the application was the inciting incident that brought you on your journey here.
“We live in a world where bad stories are told,” writes Donald Miller, “stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.”
Whether we know it or not, all of us at Covenant have made a resolution. We’ve resolved that life is about more than just test scores and getting by. We’ve resolved to buck the trends of relativism and apathy. We’ve resolved to be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Rom. 12:2). We’ve resolved to live better stories.