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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Possibilities

   In 2010, I decided to focus on gratitude.  I shared the quote on Facebook:  "A heart of gratitude is the doorway into God's presence".  

  Since then I've often thought of those words and how they inspired me that year, and do still... focusing on a theme or word can be a powerful thing.  I was sitting in church this morning feeling encouraged and inspired, as I thought about the new year, and all the possibilities.

  "Possibilities!"  What a good word to focus on!  I had actually shared this word with a young patient recently in my rounds as a chaplain.  Sometimes I feel I wander around the hospital with platters of hope in a hope-hungry world.  What a privilege!  This young patient is an over-comer, and needed to get beyond the confines of her illness and see the possibilities.

  Today I decided to give that gift to myself.  Or to anyone else who is looking for encouragement.  It is easy to get stuck in the struggles of life.  I have had a number of things weigh me down this last season, and it is easy to become weary and focus on the worry...

  I read a funny editorial in our local paper, The Morning Star, this week about 2013 - there was no looking forward here... just a satirical look at what could go wrong in a year with 13 in it.  It made me smile.

  But rather than worry for what could go wrong, can I choose to look forward with anticipation to all that is good... to all that can be?  The possibilities are endless if I let my mind go.  For me it is art projects and cleaning out of cupboards and simplifying... it is anticipating the joy of the little people in my life - my grandchildren, and the great anticipation of two more...it is spending time with people I love, making memories, relishing conversations, making the most of each moment.

  It is spending more time in God's creation and the wonder of growing things... and perhaps some travel and exploration thrown in.

  And I let my mind go way fast-forward and dream of dancing at my grandchildren's weddings.  Perhaps I should start practicing now?  A dance lesson or two wouldn't hurt...

  Possibilities start with hope, and are energized by dreams.  It is good to dream, to be inspired, to plan for all that could be.  God is a God of possibilities and hope..."Jesus himself said: "Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." -Matthew 19:26

  A new year helps us to move forward, to look forward to all there is.  We can learn from our past, but also set aside the things that drag us down.  I loved listening to this poem, read to us this morning in our church by Alfred Tennyson... ring in the new, he cries... a new year full of possibilities.

A New Year's Poem

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rimes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

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