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Dave Brisbin 1.5.20
Why are new year’s resolutions so hard to achieve? They are so hard that fewer and fewer of us actually try to make them anymore—especially those over fifty-five year of age. I suppose the older we get, the more we realize the difficulty, which lies in the fact that what we want most, resolve to do most, is not the result of a mere intellectual decision, a stated intention that we make once at the head of a new year. The things most valuable to us are always the result of repeated, ongoing action, discipline, and dedication until the change “takes.” Whether a reputation, character, stopping smoking, or losing weight, a marriage: if we’re not saying “I do” everyday, we’re ultimately saying “I don’t.” This is the same reason it’s so hard to follow Jesus. Because what we consider salvation is not an intellectual decision or stated intention either. Jesus specifically calls himself the “way,” the clear implication that following him is not an event but a process of showing up every day to a radically different way of living and perceiving life and love. 

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His entire ministry and teaching is essentially the emphatic insistence that without a daily willingness to show up as a newcomer with beginner’s mind, like a child, we will never be able to apprehend the transformation of kingdom. In the parable of the Sower—really the parable of the Four Soils—Jesus takes us yet again through the process of following his Way. But unless understood from an Aramaic point of view, we’ll miss the lesson once again, understanding the four soils as and “us vs. them” distinction between believers and unbelievers rather than the internal process of preparing all the soil within ourselves and treat our own salvation as the ongoing resolution it really is.

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Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

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