Category Archives: New Year

2012: A new journey


New Year’s Day is a pretty arbitrary date for celebrations; so arbitrary that Samoa decided to bring it forward by 24 hours.  But it has huge symbolic meaning.  “Out with the old and in with the new” is the motto for a great amount of activity including planning, goal setting, resolution making, much of which is equally symbolic of course and does not amount to much more than words on a page.

For Christians, Christmas is a more obvious time for new beginnings.  The birth of the Christ child marked a new beginning for the human race and for our relationship with God and with his creation.  On the other hand, Easter and the resurrection of Jesus marks the end of what Christmas began, the earthly ministry of Jesus.  It marks the beginning of new possibilities through forgiveness and reconciliation with God and with one another, while Pentecost marks the birth of the church through the coming of the Spirit.

Each of these is a good opportunity for Christians to take stock, plan, and set goals.  How much more meaningful for our plans to be linked with God’s activity and to be formulated through the inspiration of the Spirit of God, rather than via a man-made calendar?

Perhaps we’re a bit nervous of God being too closely involved in our plans and resolutions.  New Year resolutions are traditionally loose affairs: I’ll do my best but don’t anyone hold me to them.  Resurrection resolutions or Pentecostal planning have a more serious ring to them.  “I did my best” just won’t do anymore.

Whatever our preference we need an opportunity (and not just once a year for that matter) to take stock of where we have come from and where we are likely to end up if we continue as we are.  Is there somewhere else or something else we would like to aim towards?  If we are content to allow our future and our place in the world to be determined by others or by outside forces, there is of course no need for such introspection.  But don’t tell anyone because such lethargy in a world obsessed with Success, with Becoming, and with finding one’s Purpose is rather scandalous (perhaps more of that in another blog).  For now, the New Year is a good opportunity to ask questions about one’s journey through life and its spiritual, emotional, social, and physical aspects.  It invites us to lift our eyes and see a little further than the next footstep; to ask for God’s mercy and to receive his guidance for the journey that lies ahead.

God bless you whatever your journey holds.

THANK YOU

Thank you too for sharing my journey this past year, especially those of you who have signed up to receive my ramblings each time I post. It’s such a privilege to have you here and I am grateful for your presence; you inspire me to keep writing, and to write meaningfully. If you care to visit, do please leave a comment to give me an idea of what works for you and what doesn’t.

Blessings

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New Year Flood


This was going to be a grand New Year post about resolutions and the like, but that was before the flood.

We had a delightful evening with some wonderful friends last night.  We are all a bit old for the midnight Auld lang syne bit so we said our good nights at a reasonable hour and tootled off to our respective homes and beds.  The neighbourhood did it’s best to keep us awake past midnight with fireworks resounding in our ears, but it was a poor effort and we managed to slip off into dreamland just after the witching hour.

After Church this morning, while cleaning up outside, I turned on one of the garden taps and the entire ‘mechanism’ came off in my hand.  The water spurted up into the air taking with it the tap, which disappeared down the drain–the only one, of course, without a wire grid.  The drainpipe drops about a foot then disappears around a bend, large enough for the kitchen sink let alone a garden tap.  I ran to the back of the house, pulled open the hatch that covers the water mains, and switched off the water supply.

Relief.  Of course the problem then was that we would be without water for New Year’s Day lunch (to which guests were coming) and beyond–not a good plan.  But that was not the only problem.  Cutting off the mains did not deter our intrepid tap.  Water was still pouring out.  Somehow it managed to swap its allegiance to the hot water system and was now spewing boiling water into the air.  In spite of our having a pressure geyser the flow continued until the geyser was empty so I had to switch off the electricity too.

New Year’s Day is not the best time to find plumbing supplies but we finally contacted a plumber who was still in town and had a spare tap (the right size) in his truck.  I met him at a convenient point across town, collected the tap, and raced home.  It fitted.  I turned on the hot and cold taps, ran all the air bubbles through the system, and switched on the geyser.  We were up and running, two minutes to lunch.

Our quiet time reading yesterday was Isaiah 35, a magnificent prophecy about abundant water in dry places.  Our garden is no desert.  We’ve had so much rain these last few days that the garden had no use for the additional water that poured out generously from the open tap; and the prophecy said nothing about hot water, for which our garden also had no use.

A garden tap directing water through a hosepipe onto flower beds or onto a dirty car, or a bath tap directing hot water into a bath, are useful to all concerned.  A maverick tap that showers all and sundry with hot and cold is of no use to anyone.

I pray that I will be a conduit of healing streams in desert places during 2012.  I pray that my writing, my prayers, and my contact with people this year will not be a shower of unnecessary words, glossing over hurts and ignoring pain but will be under the loving control of the Spirit; dare I call him the heavenly plumber?

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