New Year 2015

If it is really 2015 then I must be getting old. Today does start 2015 so I have to admit I am getting older - but not 'old' yet. You are as old as you feel aren't you? 'Old' is always much older than me - in my own mind anyway, although I think my grandchildren see my age differently.

I'm not old enough to have heard King George VI's 1939 Christmas broadcast in which he quoted part of Minnie Louise Haskins' 1908 poem 'God knows', more popularly known now as 'The Gate of the Year'. I'm old enough to be inspired by it and often think of it on New Year's Day and other times of new beginning when facing an unknown future. That is probably because it meant so much to many people of my parents' generation. It was read at the end of every school year by the head teacher of my school. It was significant for my father and was read at his funeral. So, remembering that my parents married on 1 January and faced an unknown future, as do we all on any day, here is the full version:

God Knows

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness
and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God,
trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills
and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Louise Minnie Haskins, published in The Desert 1908


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