"A child stood on his seat in a restaurant,
holding the railing of the chairback
as though to address a courtroom,
"Nobody knows what's going to happen next."
Then his turning-slide back down to his food,
relieved and proud to say the truth,
as were we to hear it."
am not one for New Year's resolutions. I know myself well enough to see
the writing on the wall. A long list of things I think I should do,
should change, should be, will be abandoned in the swill of the first
days of January, replaced by feelings of guilt, failure, etc, etc. I
think I am not so alone in this confession so it seems easy to make.
as I sat this morning reflecting on the past year, I thought of the
resolutions I might make, given my observations of the past year's
events and the lessons they offered. Given the economic situation we
now find ourselves in, I might resolve to pay particular attention when
greed knocks at my door, inviting me to dance, and to make a point of
sitting this one out. I might also resolve to have a heart of compassion to those who did the dance for reasons unknown to me. I might resolve to make a list of what is really
important in my life, assess what my true values are and to do my best
to live accordingly. I might resolve to remember, at all times, that as
human beings we are connected in ways we don't always see or
understand. So, it is good to act with humility and know
that my choices affect so many others, many of whom I will never meet.
I reflect on the events of our nation and our world, I might resolve to
always choose the path of hope. I might resolve to dismiss the messages
of fear and despair and instead to seek after what unites us and gives birth to the best in us. I might resolve to see the power of diverse people
bringing their gifts to the table. I might resolve, as I have many
times before, to become a witness to hope in the world and to protect that
hope with the ferocity of a mother bear.
Over the last few days, as I have listened to stories of people of faith, killing and terrorizing one another, I
might resolve to work for a greater understanding of people of all
traditions, nationalities and ethnicities. I might resolve to look for
the face of God in each person I meet, regardless of their theology,
their political position,their country of origin, without the labels it is so easy to assign. I
might resolve to love all as I imagine the Holy One does. I might
resolve to become a peacemaker, not only in my country but first and
foremost in my heart.
Suddenly, resolving to lose 10 pounds or become more organized in 2009,
seems pretty easy. But, we'll see. The New Year provides a symbolic
blank slate to become the 'more' we've longed for, hoped for, prayed for.
Let's take a gentle, faithful, first step and see what happens next.