Today’s post is based on the “Five Helps for the New Year” given by Bishop Michael Ramsey to his clergy, which our own church has adopted for the new year. It came to me via a message sent out from our church to all members.
Five Helps for the New Year
- Thank God. Often and always. Thank him carefully and wonderingly for your continuing privileges and for every experience of his goodness. Thankfulness is a soil on which pride does not easily grow. I think this is a marvellous thought- I am so prone to becoming proud. Take a simple act like driving a car. Driving a car to work each day is a hazardous task for me, the roads and the wild traffic being what it is. It is a miracle each day that one gets to work safe and sound. But there are days when I think, nothing can happened to me- I am a good driver- I am skillful- I am bold and can and do get away with risks. See how pride has started creeping into my thoughts. If only I would take the time to thank God that I have a car, money to put fuel in, my co-drivers, the good roads and even the ability to drive without any health issues- I am sure pride would not have a place to come in. I need to work on this.
- Take care about confession of your sins. As time passes, the habit and tendency to be critical of people and things grows more than each of us realizes. Again, I am guilty here. I am one of the most critical people around. Ask my husband-there is not one person, or thing I might not have criticized. I can criticize people like I am being given a topic to debate on and am in a competition – this is another of my follies which I need to work on.
- Be ready to accept humiliations. They can hurt terribly but they can help to keep you humble. Whether trivial or big, accept them. All these can be so many chances to be a little nearer to our Lord. There is nothing to fear, if you are near to the Lord and in his hands. Learnt this the hard way recently. Humiliations can come from lessons that others might teach you because of your wrongdoing or because of things that do not happen the way you want them to be. Humiliations can be taken as lessons in humility and keeping you grounded- ask me. Two weeks after the humiliating incident in my life but the hurt is still rankling. But I am getting there and the lesson learnt, though hard, will not go away in a hurry.
- Do not worry about status. There is only one status that Our Lord bids us be concerned with, and that is our proximity to Him. “If a man serve me, let him follow me, and where I am there also shall my servant be”. (John 12:26) That is our status; to be near our Lord wherever He may ask us to go with him. I have to think about this one but if anyone can offer some input here, I would be grateful.
- Use your sense of humour. Laugh at things, laugh at the absurdities of life, laugh at yourself. I agree- I need to do this more often. My face is often like I have all the sorrows in the world on my head. I take myself too seriously. I think I am the only one that matters in the world. When will I learn ?
I think there is scope for at least 4 New Year Resolutions here. And I am going to work on them.