We are now more than a month into the New Year and most of us have probably seen our New Year's resolutions fade away as the reality of daily life draws on. We are a little over a week away from Ash Wednesday when we will again make resolutions of a type as we decide to give up something, or to do something extra for Lent. For me, it is much easier to stick with resolutions that last for 40 days, because I know they have an end point. But perhaps that's a problem. If I am resolving to spend more time each day in prayer during Lent, why do I feel ok about dropping that after Easter?
An article by Thomas Massaro in the latest edition of America invites us to take a different strategy on resolutions. Instead of choosing some sort of "direct behavior modification," as he calls it, he opts for a heightened awareness and appreciation for different groups. I like this a lot! For example, instead of saying that I would like to spend an extra 5 minutes in prayer each day and stopping at that, I can consciously look for opportunities for prayer throughout my day and become more aware of God's presence with me always. This is a practice that I can stick with long after Lent has passed, and that helps me to see God with me throughout the day.