Glory be to you, O God,
for the grace of new beginnings
placed before me in every moment...
- John Phillip Newell
Frankly, I am not encouraged by the start of this new year. It is the year in which I reach full retirement age (according to Social Security), without a clear vision of what my retirement will look like. The year in which the new American President fills the whole world with uncertainty, some with great hope, but many with great anxiety.
Nonetheless, the new year has begun. Ready or not, each day brings new opportunities. What will I do with the gift of this year, of this day, of these 24 hours, of this very moment?
I remember a homily I heard years ago. It was early in Lent, and the preacher said that what he had decided to give up for Lent that year was lethargy. Lethargy. Instead of sitting back and wringing his hands about all the world's problems, he had picked two things, which he named, that he would do, where he would work to make a difference. He couldn't tackle all the world's problems, but he could work for change on two.
The new year has begun. New opportunities lie ahead. As Brian Wren's hymn reminds us, this is a day of new beginnings - this day, and every day.
Glory be to you, O God, for the grace of new beginnings.