A Word From Mr. Satterly—January 10, 2019

Dear WA Community,

On Wednesday morning, January 2, I drove south on Federal Highway on the way to an appointment, and I noticed an incredibly trite and stereotypical scene—a full parking lot at LA Fitness. It is hard to imagine a more profitable time to be in fitness membership sales. Just as predictably, we launched our staff-wide weight loss challenge this week. It’s not as if we would get much traction with our health care provider doing that challenge in November!

A quick Google search on resolutions results in a number of hits, beginning with “the history of new year’s resolutions.” That is, after the dictionary references, tracing the tradition must go first. At any rate, we all recognize this cultural norm called “the New Year’s Resolution.” Most of us have participated in the practice. First, we list them. Then, we strive mightily to keep them. We quickly discard some, and then congratulate ourselves on making it until January 15. Before long, we lose our resolve and return to our version of normal. Or, you could have reached the same conclusion which I have: if these things were really important, I’d be doing them anyway…so why go through the pretense?

There was a time in our past when the word “resolution” was used with more heft and meaning. It often preceded deeply held convictions. A resolution wasn’t something to strive for, rather it reflected our convictions as affirmed by our practice. Our Founding Fathers often used the word to express political commitments and positions. Language changes. Sometimes for the good and sometimes not. In this case, I’m not sure it has been for the better.

Lest I offend those who love the treasured practice of New Year’s resolutions, allow this final thought…the custom of establishing New Year’s resolutions does symbolize a rhythm of life for the Christian—confessing, repenting, and then moving forward in discipleship. It also demonstrates our innate desire for a fresh start, to turn the page. This exercise is an echo of Eden that presses us toward our Father—it is a good thing.

So… let the resolutions begin! I’ll join our team on our weight loss challenge. Westminster Academy resolves to make great strides in 2019.

How about you?


Joel T. Satterly