We never stand still from one year to the next
LIFE consists of beginnings and endings. New Year gives opportunity to reflect on our past and, through resolution-making, may lead to lifestyle adjustment and determine our future.
Ultimate beginnings and endings are arrivals on and departures from this "mortal coil", but in between we face untold starts and finishes – a new school, a different job, a fresh relationship, an untimely bereavement, a bitter divorce, a shock redundancy – life-events adding to or diminishing from our well-being.
Change is part of being human. We never stand still from one year to the next. Yet change can be unexpected, dreadfully painful, even downright unwelcome. Familiar things disappear, new challenges arise. We can agonise over choices – bewildered and uncertain. Seasons of transition may force themselves on us, through no action, decision, or indeed fault of our own, stretching our resources to breaking point.
The ancient prophet, Jeremiah, offers powerful words for such moments: "Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
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This arboreal image encourages us, in the most adverse circumstances, to trust in One who holds the future, who indeed is the future, who is the first and the last – and, implicitly, everything in between. Doing so will ensure the best start to 2013.
Happy New Year.