Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time for a Life Review

Another New Year. Another chance to start again (or again and again) to renew those parts of our lives that did not live up to our expectations in the past.

Why do we fail when we set out to change a part of our lives, usually something like eating healthier, dieting, spending less time on the computer/gaming system, smoking, wasting time? Shouldn't we be able to accomplish that which our wondrous minds perceive with such enthusiasm, usually on or around the first of January? After all, we have been told that we are the "masters of our own ships", and the "makers of our own destinies". Nike says "Just do it" - so why don't we?

Someone sent me a poem from "Anonymous". I would love to meet Anonymous someday, for he/she writes some very profound pieces, and could become very famous after a guest appearance on Oprah. Here's the piece:

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.
But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.
There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.
Herb, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.
I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must have made a mistake.‘
And why’s everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue.’‘
Hush, child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock.
No one thought they’d be seeing you.’

Somewhere along the way someone else had added this line:
Remember....Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian
any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.
Now, for those of you who are not Christian, or don't believe in God or Jesus, get over your offense at those words/concepts and just listen to the message. Quit worrying about everyone else and how they behave and just police your own self and actions.
I think that's the key to changing what we don't like about ourselves: police your own self.
Pay attention to what goes in your mouth, or what comes out of your mouth. Walk an extra half block by not parking right in front of your destination. Set the times when you are on the PlayStation, and when it goes off, TURN IT OFF and read a book, or play with your kids, or take the dog for a walk. Invest some time in others; make someone feel important. Call that distant relative that everyone forgets about in her home or nursing home, take the time to write a letter (which hardly anyone does anymore) to ask someone how that are and what they're up to, call an old boss or teacher or neighbor or even a parent or grown child and tell them how much you appreciate them. Take the extra moments in your life to invest in improving your character by caring about another person; you both end up with a little glow in your soul.
Remember that each day, hour, minute give you the opportunity to begin again, or to revise your plan. Nothing is set in stone except your birth and death date on your tombstone and, even then, only the dates of your physical body are permanent, for our Maker has made a plan that involves mercy, compassion and forgiveness for ALL who embrace Him with love and a desire to start anew.
Perhaps that's why our New Year Resolutions fail so often - we need practise in acknowledging our failures and beginning all over with a new resolve to succeed.

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