On the first day of the new year, I thought about what was new in
my life: the books I received for Christmas, the new friendships developed over the past year, the new arrangement of our Mama and Papa reading chairs in the room we call the snug. I like trying new recipes, going to see a new movie, wearing a new, crisp blouse, and new snow, lightening what has previously fallen.
On these first days of the new year I am reminded to begin anew.
To respond to the message of the recent Christmas season, "Be born in us today."
St Benedict's Rule says we can always begin again, and Buddhism encourages a beginners's mind.
What might that look like for me in this new year? Are there aspects of my life I need to re-examine and either eliminate or bring new life into them? In what ways can I be open to new possibilities, new opportunities, new ways of moving in the world? That seems challenging to me as I think about a new president who seems contrary to my values, my hopes and dreams for this country. But at the same time something is waiting, calling to be born in me today.
When something is born, it becomes alive. It lives and breathes and grows and moves and develops. When something is born, it becomes its own. Joan Chittister says, "We are all what we are inside ourselves--and it is those things we need to develop."
It is those things we need to make new.
As you move into the new year, here are some questions to consider, thanks to Joyce Rupp in her book Out of the Ordinary, Prayers, Poems and Reflections for Every Season.
1. What name would you like your new year's journey to have?
What gifts do you bring with you into the year before you?
2. Do you find any resistance within you?
Of what are you most afraid as you enter the new year?
3. What is your greatest need for the coming year?
4. Who do you bring with you for your support and strength as you begin to journey through the year?
5. How is your relationship with the Holy One as you pause on the threshold of the hew year's vast landscape?
What is at the heart of your new year's prayer?
6. What do you hope to contribute to society in this coming year?
Happy New Year!
What is new in your life or what new attitude or approach can you bring to something "old" in your life? I would love to know.