I have a love/hate relationship with the show Fear Factor.
In fact, I barely watch it because I’m covering my eyes so often. At the same time, I can’t turn it off because it’s so fascinating to see what people (who are far braver than I) will do for money and fame.
If you’ve never seen it, it’s a reality TV show where you can win a load of money if you overcome your fears and do all sorts of gross or exhilarating things, such as eating live beetles, letting snakes slither all over you in a pit, walking across a lot of broken glass, or being strapped to the front of a moving vehicle as it crashes through walls.
I don’t know about you, but I would rather be poor.
Brainstorming for my new years resolution is like writing my own script for a personalized episode of Fear Factor. Well at least this year it is.
Last year I didn’t even make one. I used some lame-o excuse about not setting myself up for disappointment.
When I thought back on 2011, I saw myself having a lot of great intentions but I had a hard time following through with them all. I’m guessing it was the lack of focus resulting from not having made a resolution. I know I don’t want to be complacent; I want to keep growing. I prayed about it and I realized that for this year, if there are just a couple goals I could accomplish, it’d be better than feeling like I was failing in all the areas I need to work on.
So this year there will be no lame-o excuse making. I’ve done it. I’ve made a bold, brave resolution. (No, you don’t get to know what it is – hello . . . my MOM reads this)
This past year I had a light bulb moment when I read a quote about how when we procrastinate, usually it’s because of a fear of failure. The idea of trying something and failing is so repulsive to us that we’d rather just not try. That’s what happened when I decided I didn’t want to make a resolution – I just didn’t want to fail. Now that would make for a boring episode of Fear Factor wouldn’t it – if they never even tried?
What if during this new year we tried to accomplish just one or two things we’re afraid of? And not slightly meaningless things like sky-diving or beetle consumption. I mean things that have a ripple effect into eternity.
I’m afraid of wearing bright red lipstick. But I’m also afraid of seriously praying about a vocation to the religious life. I’m afraid of sushi. And I’m afraid to let go of resentment and love my enemies.
I think you can tell which ones are under the “slightly meaningless” category.
Pope John XXIII said:
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
What are your hopes and dreams for the kind of saint you want to be? Start working on it and use this new year as a time to recommit to holiness.
Don’t be afraid. Sainthood isn’t nearly as scary as eating live, wriggling beetles. But it’s way more exhilarating.