Grateful for a New Year

Once Albert Schweitzer wrote these words, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” As we begin this bounteous new year, whose face, like the god Janus for whom January is named, is both facing us openly and also hidden to us, I offer thoughts of gratitude. For what is your cup of gratitude full up, and overflowing?

I’m Grateful …

For the lives of our UCG saints who have passed on in these recent days. They chose to live well and to be radiant lights

For the opportunities to overhear grace spoken and unbidden generosity offered

For sunny days with the mysteries of the Prairie waiting, full of basking gators and sandhill cranes, singing by the road

For coffee

For a drive of less than two hours to make it to the sea

For the resistance–and the hope engendered by Love

For the time to learn

That there’s poetry to write and to read

For resurrection ferns

For possibilities and resilience

For sounds of laughter in the next room

That God is still speaking,

That the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Every year at our house, we have little papers by a jar on our kitchen counter and throughout the year, write out our gratitudes on the papers and put them into the jar. We read them all at the end of the year. There are always so many we cannot stuff them all in and we realize how easy it is to forget the many, many ways we are grateful. It is my prayer for all of us that, in even the most challenging days and nights of this new year, we will discover anew that Meister Eckhart was right when he wrote, “If the only prayer you ever said was ‘thank you,’ that would be sufficient.”  Happy New Year, with love!



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