Resolutions, Faithfulness, & Jerry Seinfeld

Koala sleeping on a tree topImage via WikipediaI sit here in the local coffee shop, Girdwood's "The Grind," music playing in the background, coffee at my side, laptop lap.  For four days in a row I got up at 5:30 AM to get my son up and see him off to the High School bus at 6:10 AM.   And, for four days in a row, I went and got some exercise, at the gym or at home, before the others were up.  For days!  It's good for me.  I only need to do that about a billion more times and I might be in marginally better shape than I am as I sit here.

But, this morning, I didn't get up early.  I knew last night going to bed that I was tired.  This 5:30 AM thing was hard.  And it is made harder that I don't go to bed early enough and am known to be a horrible sleeper (waking up in the middle of the night each night).  So, at 11 PM last night, I knew that I needed some extra sleep, particularly if I had to be in Anchorage tonight and then early tomorrow AM all over again.

So, I slept. 

And I slept hard.

And I slept well.

But I find myself here at 9:11 AM in the morning and I've not exercised.  The day is coming on.  It's still dark, but that sun is going to come out over the mountains within the hour or so.  And I will not have exercised.

Will I be able to "squeeze it in?"  Will I "find the time?"  Will "something else come up?"

I really didn't make any official "resolutions" this year, but as I look at myself and my health and my future, I'm pretty well aware of the fact that getting into shape would be a good thing for me and all those who love me.  It's true.  So, I kind of unofficially resolved to lose 20 lbs in the next few months.  Vague, I know, but with some willpower I'm sure I could do it.

And I'm left with a quandary that many (or maybe ALL) of us find ourselves in.  It's a whole lot easier to make resolutions than it is to keep them.  You know.  Think of all the resolutions that never become habits...all those promises made internally that are not kept.

In the same way, as we look at our lives of faithfulness, it's a whole lot easier to say we're going to "read our Bibles every day" or "pray each morning" or "go to Sunday School" or work our giving up to "the Biblical tithe."  But, life happens.  Tough times come.  We feel sick.  We need extra sleep.  There's something better on TV.  It's too cloudy.  It's too rainy.  It's too sunny.  Whatever our excuse it.  It's a lot harder to keep our resolutions than it is to make them.  And we find ourselves in a coffee shop, alone with our thoughts at night, talking with our pastor or spouse or friend and realize that we haven't followed through on that faithful practice we had, at some level, convinced ourselves that we were going to follow through with.

Reminds me of the following scene from Seinfeld where he finds that a rental car company is better at "taking" reservations than "holding" them.

Here's the video:

And here's the text:

JERRY: I don’t understand…I made a reservation. Do you have my reservation?
AGENT: Yes, we do. Unfortunately, we ran out of cars.
JERRY: But, the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation.
AGENT: I know why we have reservations.
JERRY: I don’t think you do. If you did, I’d have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation–you just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And, that’s really the most important part of the reservation…the holding. Anybody can just TAKE them. [grabs chaotically at air]

I sit here in the coffee shop.  As the day goes on it's a lot harder to follow through with my commitment to get some exercise today. 

Will this post hold me accountable?

Perhaps that's the issue with our resolutions and our commitments to faithfulness.  We don't have any accountability.  So, how should we hold people accountable in the church?

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