There’s someone on my shoulder that is whispering – becoming increasingly more annoying each time I hear her taunting me. “New Year, New You!” the girl chants over and over, doing jumping jacks while ridding the house of Christmas decor. “New Year, New You!” she proclaims with far too much enthusiasm as I attempt to swat her away.
On the other shoulder sits a couch containing a dormant pudge of a person. I like to picture this “devil on my shoulder” as an Augustus Gloop of a little boy, attractive in his dormancy as he shovels leftover Christmas candy down his throat. He knows full-well that the new year is upon us all, yet he defiantly laughs with his mouth full, switching on the television instead of reading something productive.
The balance to these two extremes stands directly in the middle; I am the moderator to the two halves of my self. I could very easily give in to Augustus and share a tub of ice cream with him as we make fun of those around us. After all, those people so full of hope in the new year are just going to fall into their old habits within weeks, right? On the other hand (or shoulder), I could just as easily work myself to death at the gym, refuse to eat one more morsel that isn’t Paleo friendly, and slip over the deep end into a pool of self-idolization. Instead I must focus on that lost art of moderation – something that will not be taught on television, at the movies, or in a book. No book, that is, except one; I can only hope to survive with my head above water if I train my eyes on the Words that matter.
My goal is to be productive this year. Not in a way that will wear me down and cause me to give up at the end of this month, but productive by continually seeking His voice and going through the motions that will put a smile on His face. I have to tune out the media in order to do this. Ads alternate between extravagances, indulgences, and images that all lead to one thing – the creation of self idolatry in this culture. I am going to have to focus on moderation in order to balance the two people on my shoulders. And in order to focus I’ll need to keep my nose firmly planted in a Book.
What about you? Do you have goals for the new year? Do the slogans on television and the ads in magazines have an effect on you as the calendar changes over?