Saturday, August 16, 2003

When (as lately) i have long drives for work, i often get audio books from the library to make better use of drive time. Lately it's been Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" (and spinoffs). Though he is not a Christian, there's a lot of truth is his perspectives that i find useful for trying to live a life that matters. All of which reminded me that Jonathan Edwards, whose sermons i've been listening to, had his own version of Habit #2, "Begin with the end in mind", seventy resolutions that he made when he was not quite 21 years old, and pledged to read once a week for life. Small wonder he lived such an exceptional life. Some favorites:

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's ...

47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance ...

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.


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