New Year's Day 2022

Happy 8th day of Christmas. (No, Christmas isn't over yet.) And Happy New Year. 2021 is behind us and 2022 has begun. What will this year bring? Some things seem reasonably predictable, but I am not going to list what I think those might be. More things about 2022 are really unknown. Life has a habit of surprising us with the unexpected, both good and bad. The unpredictable and the unknown can make us anxious. I feel both hopeful and anxious about what this year will bring for me and the people I love and indeed the world in general.

In the UK it's nearing the end of this first day of January and it is dark. A friend posted a quote on Facebook today from King George VI's 1939 Christmas broadcast. It was part of the preamble written by Minnie Louise Haskins to her 1908 poem called 'God knows'. That preamble is sometimes known as 'The Gate of the Year' and is usually only quoted in part. It has been an encouragement and inspiration to me since I first heard it as a child. It meant a great deal to my parents and others of their generation. It was read at my father's funeral, so whenever I hear it I tend to feel tearful. Here is that preamble in full:

"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."

And here is the rest of the poem 'God Knows':

"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 1908, published in The Desert 1912

Image Credits: 1. Dawn image by Jonathan Billinger on Geograph, CC License.