Beginning the Journey

New Years Eve I sat on my porch with my dog Arthur curled up beside me.  As is my custom, I meditated in the minutes leading up to the end of the year.  At midnight a thunderstorm moved in and joined the sound of fireworks to usher out the old year and welcome in the new.  Moments later it began to rain; a steady, warm downpour which melted the snow and washed clean the streets.  

I began to pray, giving thanks for all the blessings of the past year.  I then gave voice to those things for which I hoped in the year to come. What a privilege it is to be given another year in which to be of service to others, to experience fully the life I’ve been given, and to have opportunities in which to feel the love and presence of God and to share that with others.

We, with all of our good points, our flaws, and our idiosyncrasies—not our fantasy selves—are the starting point from which to begin to become the persons we were meant to be.

—Rev. Stephen Sinclair

I wish every night were like New Year’s Eve.  Then maybe I’d be more intentional about ending my day by looking back over it and reflecting upon what had gone well, what hadn’t gone so well, and how or if I could have been kinder or more compassionate. And to give God thanks. I often forget to do that. But I need to do it every day so I remember I’m not the center of the universe, which then humbles me enough to acknowledge that God is my generous benefactor.

On New Year’s Eve many people resolve to improve themselves in the New Year by quitting this or starting that, all in the hopes of being better people. Perhaps it would be gentler and more productive, if, instead of creating an idealized version of ourselves in our fantasies, we would spend time just sitting with ourselves, with all our wonderfulness and all our awfulness, and then just accepting ourselves as we are: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And then loving all of those things and giving thanks for what those things have taught us; the lessons we’ve learned by being the persons we have been—doing the things we’ve done.  Hey, and maybe even forgiving ourselves for a few things, especially for being the flawed human beings that we all are!

Writers and actors are taught to always begin with themselves and where they’re at in that moment.  We, with all of our good points, our flaws, and our idiosyncrasies—not our fantasy selves—are the starting point from which to begin to become the persons we were meant to be.  We begin this journey by first accepting ourselves as we are and then by un-busying ourselves so we can sit quietly in order to get a sense of what it is we want and need.  And, finally, we ask God for guidance and assistance, remembering that help can come in unexpected ways!

Every night can be New Year’s Eve.

Peace be with you,

Pastor Stephen



Categories: Theological Reflections

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