I'm not going to list resolutions. Most of the time they fail. Earlier this year I bought one of those devices that track your steps. I was so excited. Then I became discouraged. The little watch like monitor was not very kind, and I found myself short of the goal - many days. I will even admit that there were days I paced the hall and ran up and down the stairs a few times just to say "So there!".
When I lost the thing, my husband laughed and said my guilt was gone. So now I try to stay as active as I can - and don't worry about numbers. For others it might work much better!
A few years ago I thought about a theme for the year, and I chose gratitude. That was a positive spiritual exercise I would like to repeat. When I was thinking about what word I should choose to dwell on the word "mercy" came to mind.
I have a funny story about mercy. Years ago when my parents were vacationing at a family cabin in 108 Mile House, in the interior of BC, they had a dog trail them as they were walking home. Definitely not "dog people" they tried to shew the dog away. But she would not give up and clung to them in an unusual fashion. "Mercy!" my mom kept saying, but this little dog had found them and wouldn't leave.
When their vacation was done, and all attempts to find an owner failed, they ended up taking the dog home. And Mercy - yes, they named her Mercy, became their beloved dog for the next number of years.
My two girls, a long time ago! Mercy is the dog on the right, a dog loved by the whole family.
Mercy is a beautiful gift. Mom and Dad showed mercy to a helpless dog, and she gave us the gift of love and companionship for many years.
Mercy is a word used often in scriptures, describing God as a God of mercy, a God of compassion. I draw great comfort from that.
So as we close the chapter on 2015, and enter into 2016, I love to do it with a prayer. Here is a wonderful one-line prayer from Jude, my prayer for each of us this year.
"May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance." (Jude 1:2 NRSV)