I generally do not make New Year’s Resolutions. I am just too tired and worn out after completing another semester with its plethora of grading and then throwing myself in to all the holiday preparations and celebrations. So, at the end of the year I have little energy to even consider resolutions.
Therefore, I make my resolutions in anticipation of Lent because by this time, I have eased in to another semester of teaching and I have had a chance to settle down and refocus. For me it is a time to be more intentional and thoughtful in my choice of resolutions. I don’t feel the pressure to jump on the bandwagon of making the usual resolutions that won’t last the month.
Rather, I make space to pray and listen, often in silence, so that I can hear the Holy Spirit. During these times, I embrace the ancient spiritual discipline of silent meditation. For a time, I disconnect from the wired world and seek to engage in an often ignored communication practice, that is, listening in silence. Silence is a word that our culture derides or at the least ignores as being the antithesis of powerful and productive. Yet, I have found these moments become transformative for me.
To be still and know that he is God is at once awe inspiring and comforting as it shifts the focus off the tyranny of the temporal on to certainty of the eternal.
I pray that you may experience a transformative Lent.
Tom Carmody, Professor of Communication Studies, Vanguard University