Entering 2007 with Optimism
As we enter the year 2007 on 1 January, our daily attitudes determine how we live each day. The Abilene Reporter-News ran this list of New Year's resolutions under the Dear Abby column, which is very encouraging and optimistic.
Just for today: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.
Just for today: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things I can correct, and accept those I cannot.
Just for today: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.
Just for today: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.
Just for today: I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.
Just for today: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully--if only just for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block.
Just for today: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.
Let us recall this prayer by St. Francis of Assisi:
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not as much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
Finally, I repeat this priestly prayer from Numbers 6:24-26:
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace."