Depending on the portion of the Body of Christ of which you are a part, today has different associations. Let me list the variety of associations:
- The Octave Day (eighth day) of the Christmas that corresponds to the “first day” of a new year (age, season, opportunity, etc.)
- The Circumcision of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
- The Holy Name of Jesus
- The Naming and Circumcision of Jesus Christ
- The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God
- World Day of Peace
- Simply the first day of the New Year upon which you can pile whatever associations “works for you” (especially resolutions about how we are going to live “from now on”)
- The Fiscal Cliff
Whichever association, they all have something in common. It is a threshold day, so to speak. A day that divides what was from what shall be without divorcing their complementary character. It is a day that reminds us in a special way of the threshold significance of every day, event, circumstance, relationship, etc. In this vein, I deeply resonate with the first three on the list. It is a day in which we can “examine and resolve.” There is a wonderful prefiguring and fulfillment interplay between them that is the source of fruitful contemplation.
I invite you to “take five” or “call a time out” and consider deeply where you have been and where you might need to be headed; and the adjustments this will require; and what it will take. OR are we going to choose to “kick the can down the road” one more time??
A very good friend sent this piece to me this morning. I found it to be helpful as I stand at this crossroads looking backward and forward and all around. As I “choose this day” so to speak how I will continue to walk. She said, “These seem like good thoughts to begin our new year today.” I wholeheartedly agree. I pass it along to you…
George Carlin’s wife died early in 2008 and George followed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent and so very appropriate. An observation by George Carlin:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
A Collect for Guidance
Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, pg. 832)
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly andgive you peace! (Numbers 6)