“Always we begin again.” – St Benedict
I think of this wisdom – always we begin again – at the start of every new year. I love the energy of starting an unmarked calendar, the hope of a new year, and all the possibilities that await to be discovered and explored. A fresh week, month, and year hold promises, dreams and joy filled expectations.
I reread the writing in my journal. I called this “harvesting” and I glean the lessons from past 12 months. I honor all the experiences and emotions. I sit still, listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and enter the past, summarizing life in the rearview mirror.
I wrote in 2011 on this blog: “January is the month of “Janus.” Janus was the Roman god of gates and doorways, depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions – a good image of this first month of the year. One face looks back on the year gone and the other looks forward to the new and uncertain one ahead. January is a reflective month – an opportunity to look back at the year behind us – letting go of our regrets and celebrating our joys, then we look forward also into the coming months.” Words still true today.
I spend New Year’s Day trying to find the words to articulate where I think God is inviting me in 2022. Travels. Words to write and speak. New adventures, closer friendships, exciting knowledge, deeper love. I ask questions: What does this mean, Lord? And how do I know for sure where you are leading? I listen and wait.
Later I take out 2022 calendar and pencil in key dates – travels, retreats I want to attend, and anniversary, birthdays, and people to celebrate. Capture the important before shallow urgent tries to take over.
“With God, every moment is the moment of beginning again.” Catherine Dougherty.
I listen for a word of the year to emerge. Starting in December I begin a list of potential words that may shape my coming year ahead. I scan readings and pay attention to podcasts and conversations for a word that shimmers in my soul. Slowly one always rises to the top.
For 2022, my word of the year is ALL. I want to give God my all. All always in all ways. Last year’s word – GO – so short, simple, and wise created a desire in me to hold another ordinary little word for clear and straightforward light. I am collecting readings, phrases, and bible verses using the word all to guide my way. My morning prayers begin and end offering my all to God. Always begin again.
I am a goal setter and spend a day being stretched by establishing too many goals. I usually don’t get to all of them in a year but know myself by this time in life that I do better writing my dreams out and working on at least some of them than getting hung up on perfection. Or worse, never starting at all on anything.
“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” W. Clement Stone
This all sounds complicated but in reality, it isn’t. A time of remembering, renewal, and retrospect. A moment to reconnect with God. And with my true self hidden with concerns, uncertainty, and mud of the world. Blowing off the dust and muck of 2021 and turning forward with God’s hope, grace, and guidance.
Always we begin again.
How do you begin again?
Lisa notes says
I love a fresh beginning. And I love that we can always be a beginner again and again, no matter how old we get. Looking forward to where ALL will take you this year!
Love those fresh starts too. There is an energy full of hope in new chapters!
Linda Stoll says
A fresh calendar on the wall. A beautiful one with pictures that make me smile. Filled right away with special dates of those I love and appointments gathered together off scraps of paper. I write with pen. Even as I know much will end up be scribbled out and replaced with other obligations, times, and dates.
I need to get a BIG eraser.
I love a blank page.
I laughed when I read write with a pen. Erasable pens are the other type I buy anymore – that with lots of white out too, LOL
Nancy Ruegg says
Another short word for you, Jean, but I look forward to all the wisdom you’ll reap out of ALL, just as you did from the mini-word, GO! My words is a longer one this year, REVERENCE. A few days ago in a podcast, Hebrews 12:28-29 was referred to: “Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” That will offer me a rich starting point–as soon as I finish my current journaling topic, the old hymn, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” And so we begin again with renewed energy for fresh learning!
Reverence is a delightful word full of much wisdom. I realized the other day last year’s word was a verb – more active and moving – ALL isn’t as much. I am not sure how that will impact it but thought that was a different perspective,
Pat Forsman says
I have to begin again with magnifiers …magnifiers with lights by chair…begin again with crumby ..distorted sight in one eye…due to retina detachment ..surgery..etc…but i will begin again …cause the other choice is to stop….
And as the bible says…”in the beginning God said”…
Thank you jean….Peace…(my word of the year and mystery)
I love your determination and praying for complete healing for you too, Pat