The Oasis - December 30, 2020

Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
December 30, 2020

Rev. Eric Dupee

Dear Members and Friends,

     We are just days from the end of 2020. I don’t know anyone who is sad to see it go. I get the sense resolutions are not as popular as they once were. In fact, some professionals are advising against it this year. 
     Dr. Sophie Lazarus, a psychologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center suggests that the stress and disappointment that often come with resolutions can be counterproductive. She writes, "We sometimes think it's going to help us get more done or be more productive or make this change we really want to make. I think it really tends to just increase our stress and make things worse.” 
     The last thing most of us need is more stress. As an alternative, Dr. Lazarus suggests, "See if you can be a bit gentler with yourself or give yourself this same kind of grace that you might give to someone that you really love or care about who's in a similarly challenging situation.”
     On Sunday we closed our last Advent devotional book discussion with a reading from author and pastor of the past, Howard Thurman. It led me to thumb through a couple of his books that I cherish. This piece from his book Meditations of the Heart is not exactly a list of resolutions, but they might serve as helpful intentions for the coming year.

             The Sacrament of Christmas
I make an act of faith toward all [humankind], 
            Where doubts would linger and suspicions brood.
I make an act of joy toward all sad hearts,
            Where laughter pales and tears abound.
I make an act of strength toward feeble things,
            Where life grows dim and death draws near.
I make an act of trust toward all of life,
            Where fears preside and distrusts keep watch.
I make an act of love toward friend and foe, 
            Where trust is weak and hate burns bright.
I make a deed to God of all my days –
            And look out on life with quiet eyes.

Happy New Year!


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