New Year's Resolutions and Stuff (a reflection from a parishioner)
As I sat down to focus on my personal goals for the New Year, I pulled out one of the four computers that sit in my home (not including the two that the children have, the iPad and the Nook -or- the cell phones with full capabilities as well) and began to create a list of items that I wanted to review... my Orthodox faith, exercise and nutrition, career goals for 2012, family vacations, etc. Then I stopped to think about whether I wanted this review on paper, my Google calendar or should I download a really cool app that tracks my goals for me.
Then, I stopped and thought about my parents... they didn't have all of this stuff. No cell phone, no computer, no book reader, no HD TV, no iPod with wireless speakers (they had a stereo that actually was a piece of furniture) and what really made me think was that they got through life without all of the stuff and all of the expense, time, and processes necessary to manage it. Then, I thought, what did they do with their time, how did they communicate, how did they socialize? During the 60's, the Church community was the focus - they were at the Church often and in most cases, they were giving of their Time, Talents and Treasures.
- Their time was spent working at their jobs, with their families and at Church (I remember the Christmas bazaars when I was a kid)
- They communicated the old fashioned way - a conversation, a letter or a phone call
- They socialized through activities related to the Church... weddings, baptisms, the Pascha banquet
I look back now as I reflect on my life (and as I receive another text from my daughter) and wonder, maybe the simplicity wasn't so bad... maybe it provided the time we needed to be involved with our family and with our Church. My parents set great examples for me but I didn't realize it until now. With all the Church provided for them, they knew it was necessary to support the Church. Whether for their Salvation and the Sacraments or simply breaking bread and having fellowship with another parishioner - they set the example for Stewardship.
Simplifying my life, getting rid of the stuff and focusing even more on my faith and Stewardship suddenly became the only resolution for 2012.