Yo to You Peeps!
A Happy, Happy New Year to all y’all!
I thought of singing that weird old song “Auld Lang Syne” to you – because it says everything that needs to be said about the New Year – but Canon Fr. Bossy Boot’s New Year resolution seems to be that he’s going to be even more grumpy than ever, so he wouldn’t let me.
Perhaps I should introduce him to ‘Grumpy Cat’. Maybe together they would implode into a singularity of grumpiness.
As for me, dear peeps, my resolution is always the same: to bring light, joy, and peace – with a wicked sense of humor – all the while dispensing a liberal dose of canine wisdom and Christian truth.
I think I may have talked about resolutions before, but I don’t think I saw them in quite the same way as when I suddenly noticed what the word was all about.
From what I figured out, the words ‘resolution’ and ‘resolve’ go together. The word Resolution is the noun form of the verb resolve which, itself, comes from Latin ‘resolvere’, which means “to loosen, undo, settle”.
At first sight, we may well think that this isn’t how we use the words, but if we think of them in the sense of an ‘explanation’ or a ‘solution’ or, when a problem, conflict, or mystery reaches its resolution – that it has been ‘undone’ – then we can see that something has, indeed, been settled.
This adds to the usual armory for this word: to bring determination or resolve to a situation – like losing weight (are you listening Fr. Dad?)
Just think about the habits you have in your life. There are things you ‘just do’ without thinking about them. Some of them are innocent enough: going to bed and rising at the same times each and every day (Me). Other habits, though, you might not be as aware of – such as snacking on giant bags of potato chips and not giving your canine companion a fair share. (Guess who).
Hence: not all habits are good.
And this is where a resolution to loosen or undo can come in handy. Knowing that some habits need to be undone can awaken you to the idea that, actually, this isn’t going to be as easy as I thought. (Although … how hard can it be to drop a potato chip, peeps?)
If you think you can go all ‘gung-ho’ into everything in your life and have everything change for you without much effort or difficulty, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Just watch a pup: they are often over-confident in their abilities, so they end up falling over, crashing into things, and getting lost.
A canine’s innate superiority doesn’t appear at birth, but is something a canine has to grow into – has to work on.
Similarly, St. Paul talks about people needing to feast on milk before moving on to ‘solid food’ – although he is often saddened that so many never get beyond milk (1 Corinthians).
Perhaps worse, though, is never even trying – never stepping out of your comfort zone because … “What’s the point? I’ve tried before and failed. I’m never going to be a good Christian; I’m never going to do … ‘x’”.
Or, perhaps it may be better put as: ‘forever being willing to remain within your failure zone’.
Trust issues? I’ve had those. A peep’s raised hand means I’m going to be hit. A peep’s foot near me means I’m going to be kicked. Food: used to torment. Leashes and collars: used to control and cause pain.
You peeps can be the best at being horrible. Or so I thought – based upon my experience.
But not all peeps are.
The Miami police I met weren’t – as they chased me down and placed me gently into their car. The man from the Doberman rescue (I forget his name) wasn’t. And even (though it hurts me to say it. NOT!) dad and dad aren’t.
But still I waited: for the raised hand or the kicking foot; for food to be used as a weapon; for the pain and confusion of the leash and collar.
And I kept waiting – I wasn’t going to let my guard down. Oh, so soon I’d experience what I’d always experienced. Except I never have. And I now know I never will.
I had to undo and loosen myself from my previous experience, and settle on the idea that my past experience didn’t necessarily apply to my present situation. And, I have to tell you dear peeps, it was hard work! Resolving to undo all that suspicion and fear took a lot of time, I can tell you! And I’m not sure that I’m there yet.
But that’s the point of time, isn’t it? It is a journey – we move forward not just to ‘arrive’ but to ‘travel hopefully’. After all, on paper, the life of Jesus would seem to be a complete failure and waste of time.
But then there was the resurrection – the resolution of all conflicts and disappointments.
Keepin’ it a Happy New Year!