A Successful Resolution

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December 21, 2010

So as the end of the year approaches it seems that I will successfully live out my promise not to eat at McDonald's this year.

The odds were against me from the very beginning.  Last year I ate quite a bit of McDonald's food, but I was living in South Korea at the time, and it was one of the few places I could get a quick taste of North American life.  We also spent the first two months of the year living out of suitcases and travelling around quite a bit.  The number of convenient locations across Canada was almost my undoing too as we drove around, often looking for cheap and convenient food options.  Some could be convinced by the movie "Supersize Me", but I ate at the golden arches the day after watching that documentary.

General health was a motivator, as was wanting to test the power of my sheer willpower.  I also have an abnormally high number of lipomas, fat lumps under the skin that are often caused by the bodies inability to process synthetic oils.  Since fast food chains often use these cheaper oils I thought i would do myself a favour by avoiding these restaurants.  My doctor later informed me that in all likelihood those lipomas develop because of a genetic predisposition, not because of diet.  That could have derailed my plan right there too, but I still avoided any urges.

I have a wife who hates McDonald's and we have a shared budget, so it was partly a commitment to her and partly a commitment to myself that she helped me carry out.

At this point though, I succeed, not because I overcome the urges that develop, but because those urges have almost entirely dissipated because I have been removed from that routine for so long.

This year I'm expanding my fast food resolution to include a few other chains (after a week of allowing myself to indulge but that doesn't fit my spiritual metaphor, so it's hardly worth noting).  I'm also hoping to be as successful with a more spiritual resolution.

I am inviting my congregation this year to read the Bible with me.  We're following a chronological schedule here.  Having read through the Bible in one year a few times before, it's surprising how similar that is to other resolutions I've made.  The first weeks are filled with a sense of conviction and excitement at being able to do what you've set out to do.  Then the months pass and Leviticus and Numbers prove to be much less interesting and spiritually fulfilling than the first two books.  But if there is enough support, enough ongoing benefit, and maybe even a little luck, it can last the whole year.

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Comments

Will, I enjoy your down-to-earth manner of identifying some of the lofty and not-so-lofty issues of life which most of us probably can relate too. Regarding your McDonald's resolution, I must say I avoided that chain as a matter of principle for a whole bunch of years, until this last year (sic). As a long-distance trucker I am very aware of recent recession related increase in the cost of restaurant meals, and also getting sick of almost all restaurant meals tasting the same,furthermore discovered that it is as possible to nurture my cardiac-sensitive diet at McDonald's as anywhere else! Yes, I occasionally indulge in their salads and grilled chicken as another way of being conscientious not only about diet but also budget!

My kids (who are about your age!) are somewhat unconvinced by this my latest rationale, but I think it is mostly because they find it hard to visualize a McDonald's meal without frenchfries (which I avoid no matter where). So much for that topic right now.

Let me also add with enthusiasm, I totally affirm your Bible-in-a-year proposal. I too did it once many years ago. I would like to join you for this next year on another round. I know it won't hurt me a bit!

Will,

I used to eat McDonalds on a weekly basis. Then one day I simply gave it up. I told myself I wouldn't. Sometimes those decisions made in a heartbeat aren't kept, but sometimes they can be stronger than the ones deliberated over. That was probably 6 or 7 years ago. Eventually you don't miss it.

Thanks, Will.
January 1 is often a bad time to make a resolution, or at least not the best. (The best is to do it when you notice you want/need to.) I started working more exercise into my life (by joining a gym) at the end of October, because that is when I got interested, and figured out how to fit it into my schedule.
I just signed up for the ESV online site that you linked to in your original article. Would your church keep a daily/weekly blog or set up a facebook group to which others could join.
Or perhaps the best thing for me is to find some real breathing people in my own church or area to read together with.

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