At any rate, what are the origins of this practice? When were the first human beings guilted...er...prompted to change their lifestyles and set themselves up for failure?
As with many traditions, this one has its roots in pagan Babylon. Their unwritten calendar began in March, but the concept was similar. Make promises. Appease the gods by paying their debts and returning objects they borrowed. Go back to doing what they’re destined to do. Rinse. Repeat. In medieval times, knights would make a Peacock Vow by placing their hands on either a live or a roasted peacock and vowing to remain chivalrous throughout the new year, thus upholding their values. My guess is they went to a cooked bird after a knight lost a hand to an aggressive beak.
By 46 B.C., Julius Caesar declared January 1 as the beginning of the new year, paying homage to the Roman two-faced god Janus. With one face looking behind, and the other looking forward, it seemed fitting that he would symbolize looking back to the old year and looking forward to the new. The Romans made sacrifices to this god and promised good conduct in the future.
The New Year Resolution took on various forms of redemption as Christians decided to forego the debauchery rampant with revelry. By 1740, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church,
|John Wesley by George Romney|
Don’t get me wrong. I applaud anyone who wants to better themselves. But for me, I know my limitations. And my resolve. I like the idea of the early Christians praying for the coming year. Only God can make me a better person. But some people enjoy making that yearly resolution, and some will reach that goal. How about you? What kind of resolutions do you make? Are they serious or silly? Have you ever accomplished a 365-day commitment to your goal? As for me, there's a sale at Yankee Candle and it's calling my name!
A Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection
Meet seven American women who were named for various flowers but struggle to bloom where God planted them. Can love help them grow to their full potential?
"Periwinkle in the Park" by Kathleen Kovach
1910, ColoradoPeriwinkle Winfield is a hiking guide helping to commission a national park. But a run-in with a mountain man who is determined to keep the government off his land may place her in great danger.
Kathleen E. Kovach is a Christian romance author published traditionally through Barbour Publishing, Inc. as well as indie. Kathleen and her husband Jim raised two sons while living the nomadic lifestyle for over twenty years in the Air Force. Now planted in northeast Colorado she's a grandmother, though much too young for that. Kathleen is a longstanding member of American Christian Fiction Writers. An award-winning author, she presents spiritual truths with a giggle, proving herself as one of God's peculiar people.