I am usually a pretty dedicated resolution maker, and an "earnest" if largely unsuccessful resolution keeper. This year I have decided to make no formal resolutions but to try to live more fully in a certain spirit-it is the spirit put forth this morning first by James Freeman Clarke:
"TO get the most out of the coming year, we must put the most into it. And we put the most into it by living in a spirit of earnestness, doing with our might what our hand finds to do, not trifling with the golden hours, but receiving each as a precious gift from God. Only such earnest purpose makes the day a blessing, insures progress from good to better, and causes us to live in eternity while we are in time. They are the happiest who value every hour, who put good work into it, who do not procrastinate, who do everything now, and do it as well as it can be done. These make of life a fine art....So we "redeem the time,"
And next by Henry Ware Jr. in his New Year's sermon (begun here on New Year's Eve)
"And what is the business, this object for which God has placed man here? It is, in few words, to form his character for eternity. And what is this character to be? Holy, disinterested and pure; devout toward God and benevolent towards men, self-governed and free from sin-a character of which earth has yet seen but one perfect model...and that in the person of Jesus Christ-the meek and lowly, the holy, harmless and undefiled, and separate from sin. Him we are to imitate. His character is to become ours.
And is this to be done in a day? or in a year? or in many years?...Fashion to yourself what manner of man you should be, if you had the spirit of Jesus, if you had made it your great and chief concern to imitate his excellences. Do you find yourself near to it now?...Alas! it is at a far and mortifying distance, that we follow his glorious steps; scarcely do we seem to reflect a ray from his bright excellence. Yet that is our pattern. There is our business in this world..."
May we all seek to redeem a few more days this year...Blessings