Still time for a New Year’s resolution
Two delightful books that are recommended reading are A.J.Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically, in which for a year he tried to live according to all the rules of the Old Testament, being Jewish. He found some of the rules beyond him – he collected pebbles to stone adulterous women but never actually stoned one. Other rules were indescribably finicky or old-fashioned, but some of the laws were really worth thinking about – and doing. The Year of Living like Jesus, by Protestant minister Ed Dobson, who has lived with a progressive terminal disease for nine years, is remarkable in showing how a man can live like a well-off American being obsessed most of that year by eating kosher and reciting the Rosary as a way of remembering Jesus’ life, with his greatest act of courage for the year in imitation of Jesus being to cause a great fuss among fellow American Christians by voting for Obama.
We are now in New Year 2011. Read either of those two books, and then try The Year Of Living like Jesus said, going through the gospels. It will be extremely hard. You can keep a diary like a ledger, red and black, according to how you find what he said is beyond you, and what is within your capacities. At the end of it you can throw the ledger out or not, but it will be an experience to try, if you like to try living dangerously. Some priorities in religion may change, but you will be closer to realising what our times really challenge us with.