Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Celebrating the Old, the New, the Eternal
The clock was bonging 12 times in my family room; the ball was dropping in Times Square to a loud celebrating crowd, and in the adoration chapel a small group of people were gathered in silence.
It was snowing as I drove to the chapel for my usual Tuesday midnight adoration hour. I was happy the coordinators of the chapel did not close it tonight because of the weather; on similar stormy nights I might have received a call telling me to stay at home. As it was, I listened to Christmas carols once again as the car moved silently on the snow-covered roads. There was much to think on as I traveled, 2013 and 2014, and the setting outside and in seemed appropriate for my musings.
Within the chapel I found a handful of people gathered as the hour neared midnight. A few minutes before a young couple entered and knelt together next to me; I thought it was snow at first, but as the minutes passed I realized she had small flakes of confetti on her coat. Had they interrupted one party to attend a more important one? They stayed only 10 minutes, but when celebrating with One who is outside of time, it is an eternity, you know. The adorers who spend time in the hour before mine usually leave at the stroke of midnight, but tonight they remained for 10 minutes more.
Time passed: old year, new year, eternity.
The year 2013 had brought a big change in my life. Mom went home to God, joining dad, sis and bro, leaving me alone. Mom’s house in Wisconsin closed last week, and the check arrived via FedEx yesterday. One more thing finished; one more memory. Time marched on. I recalled lots of smaller events of 2013; looking back, I could see them all as blessings in one form or another, even those hard days. And there were those days of sheer delight also, many of them; and yes, I did eventually have that quiet night in front of the fireplace, the first in many years. It almost felt holy.
Among the many books I gave away at Christmas were those to the Bible study group, and last Friday one of the men told me how he was using the short Caryll Houselander meditations each night with his kids, each taking turns reading them and discussing what they meant. It was a blessing to his house, he said as he thanked me again --- and his words were certainly one to me, too.
I don’t have any great plans for 2014, although I have been checking around for a personal trainer to help get this old body back in form again. Whatever God brings my way, I want to be in shape to tackle it. Perhaps that’s how I will spent these first minutes, this first day of 2014: thinking about what 2014 might bring, and asking for clarity of the mission: “Lord, what would You have me do?”
Each minute of each day is a blessing to be celebrated. God has chosen me --- me! --- for a special purpose, even as he has chosen you. What is it? I don’t know, but I’ll meet you here at the end of 2014, and we can compare notes. Regardless the task given us, I’m sure we will be blessed in our efforts to stay the course He has laid before us.
Happy New Year!