Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Daily Resolutions Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Daily Resolutions Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

I won't be breaking any new-year resolutions in 1998 - simply because I didn't make any!

In previous years, probably like many other people, I have rarely managed to keep any resolutions I made much past March, or April at best. So, before the end of last year, I decided I should tackle self-improvement on a daily, rather than an annual, basis.

In the past, when I realized I'd broken one of my worthy resolutions, I tended to feel it wasn't worth starting again the next day or even coming up with a substitute resolution that might seem easier to keep. There seemed to be a sort of unfortunate irrevocability about failing despite my best efforts. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to do what you can to be better this year than last, better today than yesterday. By analogy, suppose you owned a house that had two broken windows - a large one facing the prevailing wind and weather, and a much smaller one at the sheltered side of the house. If you had only enough glass to mend the smaller window, it would certainly be illogical not to repair it, simply because you felt the larger window was far more important. Even so, a person may need to watch not to concentrate so hard on keeping some "important" resolution that he or she overlooks other areas of character in need of improvement. Such dithering is like the children's verse by A. A. Milne (author of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories) about a sailor shipwrecked on an island. He started making a list of things to do for his comfort and safe return. But before he got around to any of them, he always thought of something else he felt he should do first. Eventually, he did nothing but lie on the beach until he was fortunate enough to be rescued. This is certainly not the way that great spiritual leaders have suggested we should live our lives. Jesus Christ taught that if we recognize and strive daily to express our spiritual relation to God (who Christian Science shows to be perfect and everlasting Principle), we are made better. And we are able to overcome the annual need for new resolutions. Jesus said, "There must be no limit to your goodness, as your heavenly Father's goodness knows no bounds. …

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