Often when the calendar flips over to a “New Year,” people find themselves making New Year’s resolutions. And, by now, people are looking back to see how many resolutions they’ve been able to keep. For many, this looks like items affecting diet, exercise, altering habits. These resolutions are intended to make changes on a personal level. What would it be like, though, if we broadened our scope and resolved to use our lives as a more positive influence for those around us? That’s a resolution that works any time of year.
Resolving to express a little more kindness, speak more tenderly, be less judgmental, offer a helping hand more often, share more smiles, more hugs, be more ready to see the good around us, we could change our world just that much more for the better. It’s been said that our lives are our prayer. The apostle Paul gave us a model for this when he spoke to the Philippians (Phil 4:8, 9). He said, “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
There’s also inspiration along these lines in a hymn written by Frances R. Havergal which starts: “Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.” Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, looked upon this attitude as “brightening this lower sphere with the ways and means of the higher and everlasting harmony” (Miscellany, p. 252).
We don’t need to wait for a particular date on the calendar to see and act with more positive resolve. We really live in a constant state of “nowness.” Every moment is a new “now,” and the apostle John tells us (1 John 3): “Beloved, now are we the sons of God….” In her definition of “year,” Mrs. Eddy writes, “One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love [two of her synonyms for God], is a foretaste of eternity.” Living more fully as the beloved children of God, and seeing others in a loving light, is a wonderfully uplifting way to start our day — any day.
Paula Broock is a member of the Christian Science Church, Brookings. To learn more of Christian Science, visit our church Sunday mornings at 11 or Wednesday evenings at 6; our Reading Room in our church building at 429 Pine St., (open Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m.); or check out our local website, cscbrookings.com.