Today is a new year but in some ways not really for me. For most of my life the new year starts in September – I have academic year diaries, my holidays, my rhythm of work etc is all shaped by a year that starts in September. However, in each of my journals there are some thoughts and hopes about the year ahead. The weight and fitness stuff is always there and at the end of the year I have different reflections on what I have achieved! We have a rhythm of life that gives a broad brushstrokes framework to how we live and we revisit this from time to time and certainly ordination means looking again as a different set of expectations and opportunities present themselves.
I will probably write a few things down this new years day as putting them down on paper makes thoughts more concrete – one of the reasons I am so enjoying blogging – seeing my words out there rather than in my head enables me to see them afresh. However, I love what Joyce Rupp (one of my favourite authors on spirituality) has written as a new year prayer:
in this new year I pray:
to live deeply, with purpose,
to live freely, with detachment,
to live wisely, with humility,
to live justly, with compassion,
to live lovingly, with fidelity,
to live mindfully, with awareness,
to live gratefully, with generosity,
to live fully, with enthusiasm.
Help me to hold this vision
and to daily renew it in my heart,
becoming ever more one with you,
my truest Self.
I thought about reframing it in some way but what seems right for this next year is to focus on a small number of core values which I want my life to be characterized by. The adorable nephew said that I would do something because I was kind, it’s not always the first word I think of to describe me but I want kindness to be one of my characteristics this year, one of the versions of Micah 6.8 talks about loving kindness (whereas mercy is word in my head). In many ways the rest of that verse is want I want to pursue too – the Message puts it really well:
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbour, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.
The other thing I want to do is to make wise, spirit inspired choices!
What are your new year thoughts?
Reference: Joyce Rupp Out of the ordinary Notre Dame Ave Maria Press 2000, p160.