New Year’s Resolution

In Chariots of Fire, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture (along with three others) in 1982, Harold Abrahams, winner of the 1924 gold medal in the 100 meter race, compares his compulsively driven personality unfavorably to that of his friend Aubrey Montague who finished sixth in the steeplechase that year.

For all his fame and success, Abrahams laments he has never found contentment: “You, Aubrey, are my most complete man,” because, and I am paraphrasing now, you are content with who you are and do not spend your life as I have always trying relentlessly to prove your worth.

My New Year’s resolution for 2020 is to strive for the contentment that Abrahams saw in his friend Montague.

 Psalm 131 frames my quest:

 

Eternal One:

(Help me so that)

My heart is not haughty,

nor my eyes too lofty.

Neither do I exercise myself

in things too great

or too far beyond me.

Surely I have stilled

and quieted my soul

like a weaned child

with his mother.

Let my being be like

a weaned child. (Psalm131:1-2)

As a New Year begins, I hope to be as good a person, husband, father, grandfather, friend and rabbi that I can be.

 “Who is rich,” asked the second-century Sage, Simeon ben Zoma?

“The one who appreciates what he has.” (Pirke Avot 4:1)

Eternal One,

You have blessed me in ways too numerous to count.

Help me to quell regret for things that elude me

With profound gratitude for the things that I have.

May I come to realize, at last,

That the constant pursuit of more—

Is in the words of Kohelet:

“Vanity and a striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

Grant me, I pray, health and strength

To – in the days and years left to me –

Make life just a bit better

For others.

Amen

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution

  1. Happy New Year, Rabbi…. Yes, be content with who you are and what you have, but never be content with what you do or what you’ve done. There is always something/someone else to inspire, encourage or improve. Remember, you aren’t turned out ’til you’re turned under. Thank you for continuing to inspire me!

    Like

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