The new year ahead

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

New shoes, new books, new baby, new school - all bring an anticipated freshness with them. And a new year is no exception.

The only thing weighing on the forthcoming year may be some heavy predictions waiting to be fulfilled.

However, the new year can hold the opportunity to revise predicted doom; it can be light with hope and unforeseen answers. Perhaps what is expected can be rerouted, and an anticipated course can shift for the better.

A new year provides space for expectations to improve, hope to build, unforeseen good to develop. Mary Baker Eddy described "year" in the Glossary in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" as "space for repentance" (p. 598). It is, then, also an opportune grace period.

There is nothing to fear as we gaze at our new calendars or empty "organizers," white with blanks to be filled in with appointments, dates, and schedules. These spaces can be looked at with joyful anticipation of future accomplishments, new acquaintances, growth, and unknown adventures.

Christ Jesus once stated: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Eugene Peterson's translation is instructive. "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes" (Matt. 6:34, King James Version and "The Message").

Facing the new year last year, an English friend of mine was very happily living in New York. She loved her apartment, her job, and everything about her New York existence. But whenever she prayed, she felt strongly nudged to return to England.

At first, she resisted this nudge since she was completely satisfied, but the idea persistently came. She complied simply to be obedient to what felt like divine direction. Though she was not asking for this direction, it was coming.

She closed her apartment and rejoined her London-based firm. Not long after her return to England, a friendship was renewed with a man she'd known for some time, and within the year they were married, and both transferred by his company to the United States.

Part of her daily prayer was confirmation of her God-given purpose and fulfillment of that purpose. Her obedience to God's direction brought about more evidence of the fullness of Love's provision for her. We've said many times with beaming smiles, "What a year!"

Watching this reminds me of something Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "By purifying human thought, this state of mind permeates with increased harmony all the minutiae of human affairs. It brings with it wonderful foresight, wisdom, and power; it unselfs the mortal purpose, gives steadiness to resolve, and success to endeavor" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 204).

Keeping this in mind has given me a great sense of joy and adventure for the coming year and all the good it holds as day by day I look to the source of all good for direction and guidance, even adventure.

I prefer to enter the new year, not with a pocketful of resolutions to do better compared to last year (though that is not necessarily a bad thing), but with resolve to be what God Himself intends me to be.

I am resolved to see good in every moment, to respond to it with the spirit of love and adventure, and to keep my eyes wide open to my Father-Mother God, who has my best interest and progress at heart.

Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
John 4:35

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