Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all, whether you have just stumbled on this blog or are one of my regular readers.

There's something odd about New Year's Day.

It's a new beginning, but if you live where 1st January is a public holiday and you partied last night, then it's more like a day of recovery than a new start.

And this year it's immediately followed by a weekend so many people's new start at work won't be until Monday. If you are in Scotland the new work year start will be Tuesday as you have another Bank Holiday on Monday. Well, Hogmanay is exhausting isn't it?

What is different about today compared with yesterday?

It is only a date on a calendar, a date when we have reached approximately the same position in earth's journey round the sun as we were in this time last year. Wait a minute, doesn't that happen every day? What's new is we have to start getting used to writing 2016 not 2015 and those of us who are old wonder how the last year went so quickly.

A New Start

New Year's Day can be a new start, but so can every day or moment. I love this quote from the writer Arnold Bennett:

“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.”

Reflecting at the New Year 

A New Year holiday can give a chance to pause and take stock, look back at the past and forward to the future. Maybe to ask some questions:
  1. Where have I been?
  2. Where am I going?
  3. What matters most to me now?
  4. With whom will I walk into this new day/year?

Prayer at the New Year

The prayer below by Leslie D. Weatherhead (1883 - 1975) may be a little old-fashioned in style, but it is one I have found helpful many times:

"O God, who changest not with changing years, we, creatures of time, look back along the road we have come. We thank thee for all thy loving-kindness and tender mercies along the way. When the road has been dark thou hast not failed us, though we have often failed thee. Forgive us and help us to do better.We look forward, knowing not what may befall in the year that has just begun. Help us to live a day at a time, to trust thee as much in the shadow as in the sunshine and to find our way by the light of thy will.O thou who art both guide and goal, whose companionship is our stay and strength, go with us, we pray thee, into the New Year and bring us at last to our journey's end in peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord."