By Jan Killian SVS Contributor
While 2017 fades into history and 2018 gleams bright with promise, our conscience nudges us to “do better” in this coming year, to improve as a person, a spouse, a neighbor, a friend. Perhaps I ought to write down my plans, perhaps I ought to make a few New Year’s resolutions.
I ought to be doing more exercises. I recently read that for a woman to be considered “active” she should have a minimum of three and a half hours per week of major exercise, such as walking, jogging, biking, and/or aerobics. I run up and down our stairs constantly (often with a load of laundry) and do a few stretches most days, yet I really ought to exercise more this coming year.
I ought to write more letters. Letters from relatives and friends (emailed or snail mailed) are important to me. I treasure each one and fi nd it diffi cult to throw away a card or a letter. I try to immediately answer email and usually place a regular letter in a place where I will see it and not forget to answer. Yet, try as I do, there always seem to be a few unanswered letters on my desk. I defi nitely should write more letters in 2018.
Speaking of letters piled on my desk, reminds me that I ought to do more in-depth house cleaning this coming year. There is always something to clean, polish, or scrub. Even when everything is clean, polished, and scrubbed, there are always dresser drawers to go through, closets that make Fibber McGee and Molly look like neatnicks, not to mention our refrigerator where too often celery becomes wobbly and a Christmas goodie might lie hidden until Easter. After our refrigerator is thoroughly cleaned I ought to clean cupboards, inside and outside. After that, I ought to clean and polish woodwork throughout our house. 2018 ought to be a year of cleaning up and clearing out. Clearing out? Ah, I really ought to clear out this year! How many books are on our shelves that we will never read again? How many photographs need to be gone through and sorted? A lot of clearing out needs doing here!
Then, there are social obligations. There is this person and that family we should have at our home for a meal. It is not difficult to see when one looks around a church, an office, or a neighborhood that a home-cooked meal might be exactly what is needed by a particular hurting individual or a new family to our community. I ought to do more entertaining this year. I ought to read more. My husband reads nearly 100 books each year. Our favorite evening entertainment is reading. This year I should read more books.
I definitely should do more Bible reading and praying. When I was college age, I remember being told that a well known Christian woman got up at four or five o’clock each morning to read the Bible and pray. Not too long ago, I heard a man on the radio say he spends an hour each morning reading the Bible and praying. My husband remembers his mother—she had twelve children with ten reaching adulthood—kneeling by her bed and praying, sometimes falling asleep there after a (super!) busy day. I ought to remember these good examples.
Our new year hasn’t yet begun and already I’m feeling tired. I figure if I spend an hour each day in devotions, nearly an hour a day exercising, and all the hours required to keep in proper touch with relatives and friends, plus do all the entertaining we should be doing, we might have to hire household help.
“Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Jesus said. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall fi nd REST for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28 – 30 KJV Obviously, there are many good resolutions that could be made for 2018, yet perhaps what Jesus might sometimes say to us is, “You really ought to … take a nap!”
Copyright, Jan Killian, December 8, 2017 Adapted from I OUGHT TO … by Jan Kilian, Copyright May 15, 2005