Illustration Friday: Resolve

“True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve of virtue and reason.” ~ Alfred North Whitehead

This week's Illustration Friday word is "Resolve." So, of course, I started thinking of new year's resolutions. If someone asked me if I was for or agin' those resolutions, I'd have to say agin'.

Having a starting line like a new year can be refreshing emotionally, but having a starting line means there is a finish line. If a person really wants to change bad habits or start good ones, it means changing one’s lifestyle, not just paying lip service. I guess the difference is between the noun, a thing, called resolution and the verb to resolve which requires action.

New Year's resolutions can be a form of procrastination. Don't wait until the new year, start today, now! Don't just pay lip service to wanting to change, dive right in wherever you’re at. A person who resolves to go on a diet might say to themselves, "This is my last bite of X, before I start dieting." This puts the focus on denying themselves instead of focusing on how much healthier they would be or how much better they would feel.

In researching the word “resolve,” I came across the quote at the top. I asked myself what is resolve. Is it a promise to one’s self? A promise to God? A belief that is lived out? A feeling? A guiding reason for a person’s existence? What is resolve? The quote uses the words “firm resolve.” Who in this age has that undeniable, unchanging, steadfast belief that they are right?

There are so many shades of grey. It is so easy to have personal beliefs swayed like grains of wheat blowing in the wind. I want to have security in my life. I want to have my foundation built rock. More importantly, I wish I could be that rock foundation for others in my life: my son, my husband, my friends. I wish I would be that person who people could count on to always do the right thing or to know what the right thing to do is.

That type of resolution isn’t so easily decided upon. It is a lifelong learning process. It isn’t the same type of resolution as, say, to exercise more. The Bible says, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:21-23. Meaning that as soon as you think yourself as wise, (ie finished learning) you become a fool.

So, I guess I resolve - my continuing resolve- is to be the type of person I know in my heart I should be: good, caring, responsible, loving, hard-working, positive, thoughtful, self-disciplined, prayerful, humble, child-like - basically to do good in the world through the small, seemingly insignificant, decisions I make everyday.

I don't mean perfection, it means trying my best. Some days "my best" is better than others.

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