Improve yourself this year one day at a time
by Nelson Price
December 30, 2012 12:00 AM | 1802 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Faster than a bottle rocket Christmas came and went. Its anticipation gave hope to and thrilled many. Its occurrence gave many reason to be glad and rejoice.

But it is gone.

Or, does it have to be?

Sure the event is over, but can’t the spirit linger?

Henry Van Dyke made an appeal for keeping alive the spirit of Christmas at all times. He wrote:

“Are you willing to ... stoop down and consider the desire, of little children;

To remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old;

To stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;

To ignore what the world owes you, and focus on what you owe the world;

To bear in mind the things others have to bear in their hearts;

To try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want,

Without waiting for them to tell you;

To trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke;

and to carry it in front so your shadow will fall behind you;

To make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your good thoughts,

With the gate open —

Are you willing to do these things even for a day?

Are you willing to believe love is the strongest thing in the world —

stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death —

and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem 19 hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?

Then you can keep Christmas!

And if you keep it for a day, why not always?”

That is a lot to take in at once.

However, each of those facets is worth developing.

Try to assimilate each of them in your life one at a time.

Keep a list of them and take them one at a time for a day.

Focus on manifesting that single trait all day.

Be alert to given situations as to how you can apply the trait of the day.

Start with one and add one a day until you become conscious of all of them each day.

Keep it up until they become instinctive.

Don’t be concerned about response.

Enjoy redesigning your outlook on life.

As an example start where Van Dyke started:

“Are you willing to .... stoop down and consider the desire, of little children....”

Concentrate on ways to do that for a day.

Then continue to add a trait a day.

This can not only be the dawning of a new year, but of a new more fulfilled new you. Happy new you!

The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church.

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