Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

04 January 2009

Resolution: To will the ONE thing

From the beginning of Soren Kierkegard's classic "Purity of Heart Is to Will the One Thing":

"Father in heaven! What is a man without Thee! What is all that he knows, vast accumulation though it be, but a chipped fragment if he does not know Thee! What is all his striving, could it even encompass a world, but a half-finished work if he does not know Thee: Thee the One, who art one thing and who art all! So may Thou give to the intellect, wisdom to comprehend that one thing; to the heart, sincerity to receive this understanding; to the will, purity that wills only one thing. In prosperity may Thou grant perseverance to will one thing; amid distractions, collectedness to will one thing; in suffering, patience to will one thing. Oh, Thou that giveth both the beginning and the completion, may Thou early, at the dawn of day, give to the young man the resolution to will one thing. As the day wanes, may Thou give to the old man a renewed remembrance of his first resolution, that the first may be like the last, the last like the first, in possession of a life that has willed only one thing."

I resolve to will the one thing (with foreknowledge that I will most certainly and consistently fail). Loving the LORD daily with all one's heart, all one's soul, and with all one's might is a monumental task. Rabbi Yeshua's further admonition to love my neighbor as myself adds a relational component to the challenge. May He grant us grace as we daily practice willing the one thing.


  1. a prayer for the focus that such a task will require...

  2. My personal reaction is, "Resolutions usually last until the alarm clock buzzes early, or the salads cloy in the mouth, or the person whom we are trying to treat better says something that we disagree with." People make them, and break them with impunity. I realized that we always try to change our own behavior, treatment of others, attitudes etc. by ourselves. We think that we can "do" what we want. It is a very deed and action oriented idea, with little thought to the underlying and real cause of the need for change, a bent, broken, and downtrodden spirit. Most resolutions are broken because the person tries to use their own willpower, without the internal spirtual change needed. To truly change necesitates a change from "do" to "be." (My brother in law wrote this, and I totally agreed with him, so I am stealing with my own additions). We don't need to focus on "doing" anything, Christ has done it all. What our focus needs to to be is on "be." We are called to "be imitators of Christ," to "be salt" and "light," and to "be the Body." By putting the onus on the Most High and far away from our inadequate and weak selves, we tap into the unquenchabe and limitless strength of the Creator of the Universe. By "being" who we are called to be, Christlikeness will penetrate and infiltrate all areas of our lives, from our appetites and attitudes, from spending to relationships.