There’s a new year around the corner, which got me to thinking about how people around the world celebrate a new beginning on different days in the calendar year. Each day can mark a new beginning, for that matter, but that would be too difficult to keep track of. So instead we use familiar markers, ends of years, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries.
We split our lives into segments, compartmentalized in our memories as childhood, teen, young adult (not the typically writing YA classification, but mainly the 20’s), middle age, etc. I think these compartments in some ways change our focus. Consider the focus of a 20 year old vs. an 80 year old. The concerns are completely different.
So this year, I’m not looking at resolutions, because each day I can resolve to be the best I can be. It’s not something that I have to stretch out for the whole year, or even a month (probably the limit of success for most people’s resolutions, anyway).
When we live in the moment, these markers carry less meaning. When we live in the moment, we live in today.
Only three more days until Christmas, and I was thinking of how stressful it can be to avoid the rush and crush. It can take a lot of energy to try to remain calm, avoiding the crowds, staying out of the way. Then I went to the library. There’s a nice, relaxing, quiet place.
I think too often we are working to satisfy others’ expectations, and not focusing on our own and letting them guide us. When we look to others for stability, rather than inside, we step away from being true to ourselves. Not all the time, of course. Sometimes we come in contact with the right person, and our growth is accelerated by what we learn or how we are treated and cared for. When we are centered and balanced, we are able to recognize and acknowledge this person in our lives truthfully.
It’s when we are reaching for something, moving in a direction we shouldn’t, that we follow the wrong person, get caught up in pleasing them or thinking that what they have to tell us or teach us is what we need to hear, when in fact it’s the opposite. And that closes us off to the voice of the Spirit.
With 3 days to go, are you comfortable with who you are, where you’re going, and what you’re doing? If not, you might want to take stock of your situation.
Peace and happiness this holiday season, and every day of the year.
A second candle is lighted, if you use the Advent wreath in your house. Mine’s still atop the fridge, but I hope to bring it down this week and dust it off. It might help me slow down a bit during this time of increased hectivity. That word could be considered a sniglet, from Rich Hall’s HBO program of the 80’s called Not Necessarily the News. I’m not a big fan of the gospel of Matthew, but that’s what we have for this year, so I’ll use it to reflect on specific little things.
For instance, in today’s reading, the least in heaven is considered greater than John the Baptist. As a programmer, this could be written this way:
YourRank := LEAST(‘any person in heaven’,God) > ‘John the Baptist’;
If this is true (as shown above), you should never sell yourself short.