Time is an arbitrary thing.
We mark it by measuring it. In effect we do that age-old thing of taking ownership of something by naming it. Otherwise, it’s a rather arbitrary thing. A day is a natural progression of the earth’s rotation; a year is a natural measure of the time taken to circumnavigate the sun; a month is sort of tied to the cycle of the moon.
But a week? An hour? A minute? A second? Think about it. Why 7 days? Why 24 hours? Why 60 minutes?
What we do is to measure time to own it. And to try to resist the way it inevitably owns us. It’s all tied to the cycles of our lives, and at least as important, our mortality.
This makes it a good time to reflect upon our place in time, the seasons of our lives, what is appropriate for us at the season of life in which we find ourselves at this time.
It is also a good time to reflect upon our relationship of redemption through Jesus Christ, and a time to think about the relevance of naming and ownership; a time to take ownership of our gifts, our needs and our hopes and aspirations. By thinking about these things, by naming them, we take ownership for our own spiritual development, and we reinforce our partnership with God and the covenant that was made at our baptism, and which we may have refreshed at confirmation or reception or a renewal of vows.
Rather than spending time making resolutions that statistically tend to last less than a month, perhaps a more constructive use of time (that finite resource, as we see it!) would be to name the gifts for which we give thanks to God, to name the hopes and dreams that we wish to pursue with God’s help, to name the growth that we seek with God’s help and to name the things to which we commit ourselves in renewing our covenant with God.