Talk about optimistic.  On December 10, 1997, a Briton by the name of Alec Holden turned 90, and, to celebrate, placed a bet.  He bet the equivalent of $200 that he would live to see 100. The odds makers (whoever they were) put his chances of surviving ten more years at 250-1.  On December 10, 2007, Holden celebrated his 100th birthday by cashing in his winnings--$50,000.

To what did he attribute his success? "You must have porridge for breakfast, that's essential. You don't worry about anything and do as little work as possible. You go on as many holidays as you can." He also said he tried to remind himself every once in a while to “keep breathing.”


According to an article in the Daily Mail, Holden received numerous birthday cards, including one from Queen Elizabeth.  A spokesperson for the company who took the bet said that they were considering pushing the age worthy of a wager to 110.  “(These age wagers are starting to cost us a fortune.)"


As we begin the New Year, I wonder, “How optimistic are you?” Are you optimistic enough to make some kind of resolution?  Would you put $200 down?  And, given your past, what kind of odds do you think you’d get that one year from now, you will have found a modicum of success?


Given my past results, if I were to place bets, I would find the odds stacked significantly against me. And yet, here I am talking about making resolutions, and encouraging you to at least consider it for yourself.  After all, there’s one thing we can bet on: God’s mercies are new every morning.  We might not be optimistic about ourselves, but God never keeps us from starting over.


This Sunday, you have a chance.  Right now, you have a chance.