Friday, 30 December 2011

The New Year

Spurred on by a request to share a thought about the New Year at a gathering of friends tomorrow evening, I found this reflection by Kathy at In Quiet Places. Her story of writing devotional thoughts after her children had grown up mirrors my own dreams...
This year, I dare to dream of writing more.
I'm not a fan of New Year celebrations - every day is a new beginning in my book - but just as Christmas affords an opportunity to look back and reflect on the year past, summarising our lives into a hopefully-not-too-boring-Christmas letter, so the New Year is a spur to considering the future.
This year, Mary de Muth has challenged me to ask God for a picture.
This year, I 
Then another post about praying for strangers. What a challenge.  Could I, too, pray for a different stranger every day FOR A YEAR?  Could I? Just pray a blessing of goodness and mercy and peace and love and joy - how difficult would that be?  Surely not.
And then I came across a post entitled The Selfish Christmas Prayer by Sarah Markley
This is her prayer for Christmas. I want it to be mine for this New Year:

Lord, make me scared 
that others are hungry and let me seek to feed them. 
Let me be fearful 
that others do not have enough and let me try and meet needs. 
Lord, make me more worried 
that others are loved and cared for than if I am loved. Let me be anonymous in my giving and unnamed in my helping. Let it be Your name that is used.

Selfish as it may seem, 
don’t just feed the hungry this season 
but instead change me
Work on me:
let me focus on the changing of my own heart so that in that,
I might help to serve the world.

And I started off this whole New Year idea with the words of a familiar song by Glen Campbell - here it is sung by the Statler brothers: 

Let me be a little kinder
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me
Let me praise a little more
Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery
Think a little more of others
And a little less of me

Let me be a little braver
When temptation bids me waver
Let me strive a little harder
To be all that I should be

Let me be a little meeker
With the brother that is weaker
Let me think more of my neighbor
And a little less of me

Let me be when I am weary
Just a little bit more cheery
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am strivin' for...

So, as I opened an email this morning, I found this quote (again - it came from a different source yesterday) from Isaiah, “Do not call to mind the former things or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new. Will you not be aware of it? I will even make rivers in the desert, roadways in the wilderness.” (43:18-19).
Something new in this new year.

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