This is a day of new beginnings,
time to remember and move on,
time to believe what love is bringing,
laying to rest the pain that's gone.
Then let us, with the Spirit's daring,
step from the past and leave behind
our disappointment, guilt, and grieving,
seeking new paths, and sure to find.
-Brian Wren, 1978, UMH 383
Most people consider January 1st the beginning of the new year -- where all things are fresh and new. Time to forgive and forget, time to start over, to zero the counters and see where we can go from here.
The Liturgical year begins right after Thanksgiving with Advent. The fiscal year for a lot of businesses is July 1.
My year begins the week school starts. Today is the beginning of my new year. All things are forgiven and forgotten. There is nothing ahead but possibilites. Yes, consequeces of the past can and will remain -- the scars never really fade, but we take a moment and remember move on and beyond them, easing their tightness with balm.
I began a diet (I need to loose an entire 6th grader...), I am going to seriously begin to do the spiritual disciplines again in the morning -- prayer, fasting, meditation, study, contemplation. I am going to start walking again, even thought it hurts. I am reducing the clutter in my life -- material possessions, but also the busy-ness of modern life. It is not a deprivation of my children if we get rid of soccer, Girl Scouts and piano lessons -- and only do Church and karate. It will allow them time for quiet and contemplation, free play, exploration of the backyard, exploration of who they are aside from their activities (Mommy too.)
I have also been cleaning strange and hidden things -- under and behind the washer and dryer, under the refrigerator, in the base cabinets in the kitchen. I painted the interior of the cabinets yesterday and Saturday. For the first time in years, it not only is clean (I actually have scrubbed the paint off in places), but I have covered all the stains and wear on them with paint -- It looks so clean. The exterior painting will come sometime soon, but I dwell in the idea of "white washed tombs." What good does it do if the outside is pristine, if the inside is full of dirt and wear?
I was going to do an art project a while back -- I was going to take a white and gold chasable and make it beautiful -- and then line it with a piece of cheap cloth with stains, tire tread marks and words of filth written in a coarse hand. The lining would be ripped and unrepaired. A commentary on the priesthood, as a whole. But starting with me.
Here is an interesting website about the practice of faith. I don't agree with it one hundred percent, but it is good for contemplating.
But first rest. And rest can be a spiritual discipline.
Christ is alive, and goes before us
to show and share what love can do.
This is a day of new beginnings;
our God is making all things new.