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Magazine (Archive) - January 2007
A New Year Greeting
A few years ago I made a New Year’s resolution not to make any more New Year’s resolutions, because I knew that when I made resolutions not to smoke anymore, or to go to the gym at least twice a week, I wouldn’t be able to stick to them.(Maybe because these sorts of promises for a new start in a new year were made at about 11.00 p.m. after one or two glasses of good cheer!!)So, I thought here’s a resolution I can keep – not to make any more new year’s resolutions.However, that doesn’t stop me thinking about how I might do things differently, or reflecting on the past year.It doesn’t seem possible that another year has gone by so quickly, yet it has.As I reflect on the past year there are many things that have happen, some have been happy, joyous events and occasions, and others have been less so.There have been lots of things I have been able to do, but if I’m honest with myself, there have also been things I have failed to do through lack of time or inclination (the gym still beckons, and maybe I’ll get there, one day).
When a new year comes along, reflection on the past twelve months is not an unusual activity to engage with, and it can be a useful thing to do as it enables us to draw breath and think carefully about what has recently happened in our lives.Yet, as we look back on all that has happened, we should do so, remembering that what has happened is in the past, and there is nothing we can do to change it.This sort of reflection can, if we let it, aid our thinking about how we might do things differently in the future – and I suppose that is why so many people make a New Year’s resolution (whether they are able to stick to them or not).The other part of a New Year celebration is a looking forward to the coming year (hopefully with excited expectation) and to all the things we will be doing.The planned holiday, family events etc., the list could be endless as we look forward to all that could happen.Again this is a useful activity, as it is always good to look forward to all the good things another year could have in store.I say “could have in store” because we can never be sure exactly what the future will bring, only what we hope it will bring.
Whilst all this retrospection, and looking forward is a useful thing to do, it is not the most important thing to do.Over the years I have met many people who are either constantly thinking about the past or the future, to an extent that they forget to think about something far more precious and important – the present.To be truthful, this is something I have to remind myself about at times, because I can find it difficult not to dwell on the past, or long for something in the future to happen, at the expense of valuing the present moment.What Jesus had to say about not worrying about tomorrow, as today has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6: 25 – 34), is true; but also I would say that each day has enough blessings of its own too.If our minds are either in the past or the future we are not able to perceive all that is happening in the present, and we miss much that life has to offer.
Deborah and Hannah join me thanking you for all of your Christmas greetings, and in wishing you a very happy New Year.
Yours in Christ,
Rev’d David Penny
Creation date : 16/04/2007 - 21:53