Few, perhaps, expected an annus mirabilis in 2008, but how many anticipated what has become an annus horribilis, if there is such a term? No doubt many feel like insignificant bits of flotsam or jetsam desperately trying to stay afloat on an ocean of troubles. Yet, if one has Christian Science and clings to it faithfully he cannot fail to overcome the errors that beset him. The motto of Paris will then describe his dedicated efforts: fluctuat nec mergitur--it is tossed by the waves but does not sink.
New Year's resolutions and fruit cakes are often the targets of cynics, humorists, and realists.
The best laid schemes o' mice and men
Gang aft a-gley;
An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain,
For promis'd joy.
(Robert Burns, from "To a Mouse")
Mrs. Eddy and Christ Jesus have already laid before us all the resolutions we need. Without too much head-scratching, four from the Church Manual could be suggested.
o Article VIII, Sect 1: "A Rule for Motives and Acts"
o Article VIII, Sect 4: "Daily Prayer"
o Article VIII, Sect 6: "Alertess to Duty"
o Article XXX, Sect 7, "Healing Better than Teaching"
It is not enough to do better, think more about, or tackle one by one as time permits, which of course it never will. Eternity wouldn't be sufficient for that approach to progress. There is a good current ad slogan--for athletic shoes maybe--that might be followed: "Just do it". Endless talk (the mincing of ideas into a useless goo) won't do it, for it is far too easy to find oneself in the ludicrous contortion of having his lips outrun his legs. The too-thorough, solitary mastication of truths, moving them methodically from stomach to stomach, but never getting around to producing any milk, is also a futile enterprise.
A thoughtful look at the definition of year in the Christian Science textbook can help one individualize his goals for the coming hours, days, weeks, and years. Newness of thought is an ongoing need, but now is a good time to solidify and begin acting on good intentions, those noble velleities one proudly displays like curios on a mental shelf. To act, to do, enables one to rise above fragile human hopes to the realization of his desires in spite of the depraved tableau material conditions frequently present.