“And the One who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’
A Word of Hope
The early months of the new year always seem to begin with a general sense of expecting a something new to happen. I like that we take a journey around the sun and have devised our system of measuring time with the sun as our eternal center, but there was a difference this year. I’ve noticed there were lots of people in January who chose not to make a new year’s resolution of any kind. Even with the pandemic gradually on its way to being behind us, I feel the same way. 2020 was not kind to us, as if it had some kind of conscious vengeance against humanity. We felt distraction, abuse, inconvenience, death, sickness.
But today, we are finally on our way in a fresh journey, having just experienced President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Day on January 20th. It gave me that “all things new” feeling the Book of Revelation talks about. Those of us who write devotions, attempt to stay timely without referencing too many current events, so I realize the risk of dating this devotion. However, I feel we all deserve the optimistic payback of new leadership for an already weary year. During 2020, we were dealt some harsh blows, so it makes sense that we name it and claim freedom from making new year’s resolutions of drastic life changes or other traditional empty promises. Speaking personally, I’ve just come full circle; I did change. I spent last year changing, which also made me question and then decide why I would ever want to go back to the way things were. The resolution made itself.
On average, we ignore the flu and presume we’ll either get it or not. We might get a flu shot, or not. But I never dreamed I would wear a mask in public, that I would self-quarantine or be paranoid for a few months about even leaving my home. Come to think of it, 2020 not only handed me a bag full of changes, it gave me a few automatic resolutions. What a gift that was, when I think about it. I do not dismiss or take lightly anyone’s loss of life, impairment, loss of their job, nor the unexpected changes or hardships that many have suffered. I’ve been dealt some hard blows too. Change is inevitable, but I’m very grateful. I was able to bend without breaking, even through some very tough days. As Ella Fitzgerald used to sing, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and started all over again. I also gave thought to being ‘a caged bird who sang’, as Maya Angelou taught me.
I’m blessed to review the things last year taught me. I know the lessons aren’t over, but today I can breathe; exhaling some of the pain so I can breathe in a new hope of today and what I take with me into the rest of 2021. I don’t have a single guarantee, yet I know my cup is half full. What’s in your cup? What bright hope can you see? What darkness will you name and claim and leave behind? We are a resilient people. If you have doubt about anything, know that you are human. I will not pretend I can flip a switch and change my mood or my circumstances. I have learned that it’s ok to feel fully; to be wholly who I am in this moment with all my feelings, doubts, sorrows, and joys; dreams and escapes. I invite you to look for your escape hatch. It’s one neuron; a microsecond away from discovery. It’s your personal resolution on which you can choose to act. Breathe in a few deep breaths. Exhale….and BE.
Thank you for all of the new beginnings of our lives. May we resolve to allow your love to guide and direct us on this particular journey around the sun.
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare