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
Thinking more about resolutions -- like someone quipped last week, I'm not making any new resolutions because the old ones were hardly used.
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.
Some people's new year begins the week school starts. Regardless of the time of year, we can say to ourselves, "Today is the beginning of my new year. All things are forgiven and forgotten. There is nothing ahead but possibilities." Yes, consequences 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.
So today, 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 going to increase my attendance in Karate class to three times a week. 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 activity for activity's sake -- and concentrate on more of the reasons for existence. It is as nourishing for the person to spend time in leisure as it is to nourish our bodies with food.
I have spent a year in a "purge" and the purge will continue. I am re-purposing things; reclaiming them from the pile of trash and giving them new life. I am giving away tremendous amounts of "stuff" and lightening the load. I am cleaning under appliances and behind things -- taking care of "hidden" dirt. What does it matter if the exterior looks nice if the interior is crammed full of broken and useless things and full of dust bunnies and dirt?
As I have blogged before, 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.