So many people were carried away with the idea of a sudden cataclysmic doomsday event. The world was thought to end according to an ancient Mayan record-or rather the lack thereof. Well, the world did not end. Not for everyone. However, it did end for hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting people across the globe. And it will happen for all of us at some point. Death takes hold like an insidious time thief. Are you prepared? At least 50 people died in Utah on Dec. 21, 2012. Utah’s Office of the Medical Examiner investigated about 15% of those deaths.
So many people get lost trying to escape the inevitable or get caught up in trying to prolong mortality. We fight tooth and nail clinging on to life. We allow ourselves to become preoccupied with current trends and allow conjecture to occupy our thoughts. We lose sight of what matters most.
This life is a gift. It’s time to learn how to perfect ourselves and how to be kind to our neighbors. It’s a time to prove to our maker that we can be better people. The sad part about the rumor that the world was going to end on Dec. 21, 2012 was that there didn’t seem to be an increase of kindness and charity. Not to the same extent that we saw active involvement in emergency preparedness and mass hysteria surrounding the idea of Armageddon.
There is another ancient record that offers humanity a warning. It says that you should not procrastinate the day of your repentance, Alma chapter 34 verse 33, Book of Mormon. I’ve found a rich quality in that ancient American text, more so than the antiquated stone calendar that had so many people worried. What does it mean?
There are three Greek words related to the word: repentance. They are metamelomai, metanoeo, and metanoia. The first two are philosophical while the third has a more theological flavor. Metamelomai means a change of mind, while metanoeo means to change one’s mind and purpose as a result of after knowledge – a type of 20/20 hindsight. Metanoia means a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
If that sounds too preachy for you, most people are more comfortable using a word like resolution. We talk about resolutions especially during this time of year. Frankly, I see little difference between the two words, resolve and repent. For example, if we were to rewrite the Book of Mormon statement above and replace the word repentance with resolution the warning remains in tact. May I suggest that you do not procrastinate the day of your resolution.
Be careful when creating resolutions that you do not dwell on past mistakes. Remember that hope looks to the future, while regret dwells in the past. We should review past mistakes only for answers to current situations. With the beginning of a new year I hope you take advantage of a fresh start. If you’ve already chosen a direction, then I hope you continue with determination on that path.
Make New Year’s resolutions and write them down. Post them someplace where they cannot be missed. I heard it once said that an unwritten goal is merely a wish. Work every day to achieve your goals. All it takes is one day at a time. You don’t want to find yourself at the end of your days wishing.
The making of New Year’s resolutions is a great tradition that helps motivate people to do good things. Unfortunately we establish such high expectations that we often set ourselves up to fail. It takes time to perfect one’s self. Thomas Monson, President of the LDS church, said in a talk titled, Believe, Obey, and Endure, “Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day – and then one more and then one more after that…” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKiIlwn8z3I
We shouldn’t need a cataclysmic event to motivate us to do good things; however, annual traditions and celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s can be effective tools in helping us remember to appreciate life.
I wish the best to you in your endeavours. Thanks for reading. Please follow the link below to one of my favorite Country songs by Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying.
- My 2013 New Year’s Resolutions (christianitymatters.com)
- Some Old Resolutions (Pt. 1) (cwoznicki.wordpress.com)
- One Big Fat Resolution (whateverstateiam.com)