New Year’s Resolutions, A Week Late

I could have resolved to write a thousand words a day; to be a better person (yay); to jog at least once a week; to control my anger. Instead, I resolved to do something more attainable: to write only what must be read.

I’m going to apply that to my particular vein of creativity (writing—hence the metaphor—see?), but also to my life. Everything that passes through me will (ideally) be only what is necessary.

This means I can’t enjoy a little boast here and there about my accomplishments. Because really, the only person who “needs” that is me. Other folks may need the things I produce, but they don’t need my pride or my self-glorification.

People need to be healed. I think I can do that a little bit, here and there, as the needs of people happen to line up with the things that I feel called to say. The best thing for me to do is just get out of the way and say what I’ve been given to say.

This is no time to rest on my laurels—and those laurels aren’t mine, anyway. There’s a big messed up world out there, and it needs to be slain by beauty. I have a vision. I can feel when beauty taps on my shoulder. I know what it feels like to let beauty in and let it pass through me in the form that my craft can give it. I need to keep doing that—I mean, I need to keep letting that. Cuz it isn’t me at all.

To do so, I’m going to have to give up this need for financial security. I’m going to have to forget that I’m an oldest child from a family that never seemed to lack anything. I’m going to have to forget that I grew up in a warm, beautiful house that was owned, not rented. I’m going to have to stop fantasizing about having a nine-to-five, because acting on that fantasy will prevent the things that I must say from being said.

I don’t know what your path is, but I do think that this year, you should resolve to follow it. Have you been putting it off? Have you blanched before the prospect of being broke? Have you shied away from the prospect of long hours? What are you afraid of? Jesus was about as broke as they come, right? (I’m sort of making that up for the sake of argument, but it sounds reasonable.) He spent his time wandering around telling tax collectors and prostitutes “hey man, you’re forgiven”; feeding people mysteriously; and preaching to huge crowds from boats. That’s just weird, and you don’t make money doing that kind of stuff. But see, Jesus wasn’t fenangling the family carpentry business into a cash cow. He was meeting the needs around him. Among other things, he was a broadcaster, a celebrity, and a member of the media—and he had every right to be, because his message was (still is) necessary.

So, ask yourself: what have I been given that simply must be done? After a moment’s reflection, get off your behind and go do it. I mean, it’s freaking 2013.

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