Can we all make a resolution to not make any resolutions?
Because as another year is about to flip the calendar, we are too often found looking back at what we didn’t do, haven’t achieved or just didnt get started.
Instead, maybe we can be thankful for what have had, what we did do, what we did achieve, and take that cup full, rather then the cup empty into the New Year, because that is what we have decided. Whatever we do and wherever we go we take ourselves with us. One way or another good or bad turn up, so maybe it’s time to have a look at what was in our cup this year, the good the not-so-good and the beautiful and not-so-beautiful, and reflect.
How often do we take the time to have a good think, to empty our cup, to explore what’s in it? And no, I’m not talking about the tea cup, the green bottle cup or the cup with not enough ice in it and too much of the brown stuff. As the year comes to an end, our cup, our lives have been full and empty, half-full and sometimes overflowing, and as it tips and fills and empties there is a residue left, and that residue we take with us, no matter where we are in life or where we are on the planet.
I fondly remember travelling to Turkey many years ago and visiting schools from Istanbul to Ankara Sitting there with these children, none of us could speak each other’s language - though they could speak a little English. After the class visits had finished I went outside and saw the boys playing soccer. As I went over they gathered around and we ended up spending the recess chatting about life and about living as young Muslim men in Turkey.
Reflecting back on that experience later, I realised then, that the experiences I had working in schools in Auckland, were the same as they were in Turkey – and they have been the same in the Cook Islands. Because wherever we go, we take all of who we are with us. Our gifts, our life experiences, our values, our beliefs and our strengths and our weakenesses, our fears and our doubts.
Whatever is in your cup today you will take with you into 2020, and it is helpful as I said, to know better what lies in the deep recesses of your cup so you better know how to make use of it. It’s also helpful to know how to tip out what you decide doesn’t belong there anymore and hold onto that which gives you strength, vibrance and a sense of self.
I would suggest that if we look at life as a cup continually being filled and emptied and filled again, then we can understand better the 23rd Psalm where David said: The Lord is my shepherd; Thou anoints my head with oil; My cup runs over.”
There is that sense that when we are connected to the Divine, our cup runs over and over, and David knew this as he expressed it so clearly and with that picture of oil flowing over his head. There was that sense of abundance because of his love for his God, that caused his life not to be free from trouble or pain, but like an overflowing cup, a cup full of all that life throws at us. And in that, we also acknowledge who fills our cup and where that comes from.
If you question who fills your cup, who has filled your cup this year and if your cup or your life is not overflowing, then maybe it is time to reconsider who should have permission to fill it in 2020.
Life is about choices and in 2020, let’s make good choices - choices that fill our cup to overflowing from a source that fills us with the good and not the not-so-good, and in that we will have a better year.
So leave those New Year’s resolutions behind. They have never served anyone well. Instead, just make a decision deep in your heart that the cup of your life in 2020 will be overflowing because you have made it so and you have connected to the source of the flow of life.
And as we empty some of the overflow of 2019, let us make room for the abundance and possibilities of 2020. Let your cup be full, let your heart know what’s in it, and take the time to discover what lies deep in the cup of your life.
That is my prayer for you all and myself and those I love, as we exit 2019.