And the country’s leaders have managed to steer us away from the fiscal cliff, apparently. So that’s good news, isn’t it?
And as a Denver Broncos fan, I look forward to the AFC teams stopping by to visit—hoping to get to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Unfortunately, they will be out-Manninged and Manning-handled on the field and out-John Foxed on the sidelined.
And if you’re Veronica Larin, the ex-wife of former Italian P.M. Silvio Berlusconi, you’ve got to be very happy right now. Only a few days ago, a judge awarded you an alimony settlement in which your skirt-chasing husband has to pay you $48 million a year, which comes out to about $130,000 A DAY. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A DAY!!!!!! I don’t even want to imagine how many wells in Africa could be dug for that kind of money, or schools and hospitals built, or teachers hired in the third world, or small businesses established and so on. It would make me throw up.
So a subscriber writes the other day about the Homiletics material coming up for this Sunday. “Why am I the way I am?” Or, “Who am I anyway — really?”
We’re only a couple of days into the new year and it’s a safe bet that we’ve asked some version of these questions. “I am the way I am because I don’t exercise and I eat three cheeseburgers every week and wash it down with a 64 ounce Big Gulp soda” (not in New York City, of course). Who am I? Our answers will vary, but we might say on this first Sunday of the year, “I am an overfed, under-exercised human being who spends too much on fuel for the three vehicles I own, who’s too materialistic and too busy making money to support my habits, not to speak of supporting the spouse, kids, dogs and cats.”
On the first Sunday of the new year it’s tempting for us to talk about new year’s resolutions — you know, all those things people promise to do or stop doing in the coming year that will make their life better, improve their health, etc. Some psychologists, however, tell us that all this talk about resolutions is really a waste of time.
The reason for this is that we can’t fundamentally change our behavior until we fundamentally understand who we are, and who we are is shaped by what we believe. You want to make big changes in your life? You have to be willing to dig deeper into your whole belief system and your reason for existence. It’s not helpful to resolve to go to the gym, for example, when you haven’t dealt with the reasons why the couch is so important to your life.
Resolutions, then, are about what you’ll do, but real change comes as a result of knowing who you are. What do you fundamentally believe about yourself, about the world, about God, and how does that belief shape your behavior? Getting down to that level of introspection and self-awareness can really lead you somewhere beyond January 1.
Anyway, back to this subscriber, he writes to say that there’s a good reference in the new film version of Les Miserables where Jean Valjean twice asks the question, "Why am I?" He does this early in the film and again toward the end. So thanks for this input.
I hope you all have a blessed year, and I look forward to chatting with you here.