Once upon a Sunday School contest, the teacher, in a shocking display of positive reinforcement, promised a prize to the industrious student who logged a certain amount of Scripture reading in a given week.
I don't remember the prize. (Actually, I don't remember the teacher.)
What I do remember is going on a Bible binge. . . . for a couple of weeks.
It was not to last. Not even the prospect of a prize could perpetuate the motivation.
Are you ready for this? I got bored with it.
I also remember the steady discipline of my friend Darren. He consistently polished off a reasonable number of chapters every week and received the prize and effusive praise from the teacher whose name continues to elude me.
(Darren, if you're out there, was it the benefits of the reading or was it the prize?)
Since then, I have made many resolutions and I contend it is not so much the lack of will that sees so many of my plans end in partial completion.
It is more a matter of my having an inherent dislike of redundancy.
Before you judge me immature, let me say I have managed to develop a few constructive habits over my life.
I have fallen into eating, almost every day, quite naturally.
I sleep almost every night without fail.
I have also managed to develop a habit of kissing my wife quite regularly.
I usually go to work throughout the week.
On the flip side, I often lament my dislike for repetition when it comes to brown bagging.
Trying to think of something, anything, from week to week that sounds appetizing is a challenge, and I do wish I were the type that could exist contentedly on a pb&j every lunch from now till retirement, but my taste buds won't cooperate.
I once drank only Dr. Pepper, until one day I hated it, then I switched to Coke. For a time, then . .
I listen to classical for a time until my brain grows suddenly weary of trying to interpret the sometimes obscure artistic inspiration.
And then after a stint of more modern fare, I begin to feel like I've eaten at Wendy's five days in a row.
I resolve to read all the classics; Dickens, Defoe, Dostoevsky. After a period of this, I read some theology and philosophy; John Calvin & Thomas Hobbes.
Then I read some modern fiction and usually remember why I was reading classics.
What I'm trying to say is,
No, I'm not making any New Year's resolutions.
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