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I've never been a big "new year" person. For me, the best way to mark the new year is at home with family, not out at a party or event. The approach of a new calendar year can be a source of anxiety for some, wondering what the new year will bring, putting into perspective or giving closure to the happenings (challenges) of the past year. Even as people of faith and trust, we, too, can find ourselves wondering (worrying) about the year to come.
This year, I've found myself thinking about the new year more directly but in a new way. In my ponderings, I found (I think) a consoling thought for those who dread the arrival of a new year. The arrival of the new year is not in and of itself a catastrophic world event, rather it is, like the many small personal opportunities of daily life, an opportunity for a fresh start. The grandeur and magnificence of it is in the fact that the entire world approaches the new beginning (somewhat) together. Yet, in fact, each of us is provided countless opportunities for a fresh start, numerous opportunities to begin again each day. Each and every breath is an opportunity for a new beginning. What an amazing thought! What an amazing reality!! How much more even than the breaths we take are the opportunities for fresh starts that God gifts to us? Each day we are invited to start a new and revisit our relationship to God, God's people, God's creation, and ourselves.
This is a promising realization so as the year 2007 draws to a close and 2008 approaches in all its newness I thank God for the blessings and challenges of the past year and pray that I may accept the grace of new beginnings and fresh starts as opportunities to live an even deeper love of God on a daily basis. Only God knows what in fact this entails, but the thought at the present moment seems so full of promise and life.
As we prepare to welcome 2008, I wish you peace, health, serenity, and your heart's deepest desires and dreams come true. And to the world, I wish peace and a deeper awareness that we are all one family of the same Creator.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!