First Baptist Church of Herndon

681 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170-4722, Phone 703-437-3620

New Year! New You?

Linda Soller | Jan 06, 2014

So you survived the New Year’s celebrations and you had a weekend to recover and get your bearings. Good for you. What will 2014 bring? Do you have a plan for becoming a new you or did you give up on resolutions a long time ago? I like to think of mine as continuing resolutions. Since I seldom seem to reach my goals the resolutions just continue into the next year and the year after.

In the late summer of 2013 I got myself a Fit Bit. It’s about the size of my thumb and clips on to my clothing. At the end of the day I can see how many steps I took. The goal is a healthy 10,000 steps a day. No, that is not a typo. Now, if I had a fancier phone or the energy to stay on top of it, I could enter the food I eat and record my other activities and my Fit Bit would track it all for me. Weekly I get an update email telling me how I’m doing. Sometimes I haven’t had a chance to sync my Fit Bit so in my email I’m gently scolded for not walking enough. Each morning when I pick up my nifty device it greets me with a cheery phrase that is meant to get me smiling and moving. Some days it’s more successful than others.

I know one person who lost 20 lbs by using the full capabilities his Fit Bit. I haven’t reached any such goal myself, but I’ve got to admit that I wear it every day, and I am certainly more aware of my physical activity and the amount of food I eat with it than I was without it. So, I’ve had a bit of success. I think that I will reach my goal eventually, and certainly sooner than if I didn’t have my device reminding me how to behave.

What if we could have a spiritual Fit Bit? Think of it, giving you points during the day when you had the right thoughts, or acted the way you should. Each week you get your email saying, “You were a good and spiritual person this week, keep up the good work.” Ah, but on the other hand you would have to get those reports for the not so good weeks as well, and we all have them. Imagine how depressing it would be to get a note like, “What was your problem? Don’t you know how to behave? You were really a lousy human being this week.” Yep, now that I think about it I’m pretty sure we are better off not having such a device.

A device is not forgiving. My Fit Bit thinks my occasional low numbers are directly connected to me being a lazy, unmotivated person. It doesn’t stop and think why my numbers might be low, it simply responds to data. A similar device for our spiritual well being would not offer the same grace we get from God, it couldn’t. Every time we lose our way we would be scolded. We wouldn’t experience the same love and forgiveness we already have from God. That being said, we are creatures who seem to need constant reminders of what we should do. Why is that? Why can’t we keep the love of Christmas in our hearts all year long? How can we be able to recite the details of the story of the Good Samaritan and yet turn our backs on the needy around us? It’s simply not logical, as Mr. Spock would say. We know what we should do, and yet we don’t do it. Maybe this year we should all challenge ourselves to be responsible for our actions. If we could do that I think we’d find we’ve fewer problems to manage, and need fewer devices to manage us.

Happy New Year!  :o)    Linda