As this year comes to a close, I’ve been sad to read so many posts on Social Media from friends who are bidding good riddance to what has been, for them, a bad year. I wish them all the peace and happiness in the year ahead that unkindly eluded them in 2013.
I can’t really say that 2013 was all that bad for me. No, it certainly wasn’t perfect, but I have many blessings and wonderful memories of the closing year to celebrate tonight as we “ring in the new,” and for that, I am truly grateful.
But I have to say, I’m truly looking forward to a new year, and all of the adventure and challenges lying ahead. This coming year will bring many, many changes to my life, some wonderful, some downright scary. But I am ready to face them, and embrace them!
There’s just something about the unknown, new beginnings, a chance to make things right and try something you never dreamed you could do before… that somehow just seems POSSIBLE on New Year’s Eve, right?
I used to be the Queen of the New Year’s Resolutions – making my lists, and cajoling and convincing others to join me in the coronation of a new year by making our royal decrees of future achievement, pen to paper! But alas, the Queen was always dethroned, sometimes never even making it to coronation – usually by February!
So, I no longer make wild resolutions that I feel guilty about blowing. I’ve learned that it’s more important to forgive myself for my shortcomings if I’m ever going to move forward, learning and growing, in this life.
Instead of resolutions, I started making lists of things that I want to see “more of” in the coming year. I want to see more of these things from myself, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these things from others, too. But there is no measuring, and no guilt. Only looking forward, moving forward, step by step.
I don’t want to just be a “noisy gong or a clanging cymbal,” (see 1 Corinthians 13), but I do want to be a wild bell, ringing out! I want my life to RING OUT LOUD AND CLEAR with all of these prayers, emotions, hopes, principles, feelings, convictions, disciplines, and dreams!
For this to be true, for this to be worthwhile, it must all be tempered with MORE LOVE, most of all.
This year, I took my list and created a little bit of a visual piece of “subway poster art” out of it. I plan to print this and hang it in my office or somewhere – and just glance at it daily, to simply remind myself of the direction I want to continue to walk, the joyful noise I want to make in this world.
Maybe you’ll join me in this? Mine is below – it’s no big, beautiful piece of art ready to hang in MOMA or anything – it’s just for me (and now for you, just to give you some ideas.) I created it at www.picmonkey.com – a great website I use to edit pictures, create things, etc… If you do make one, I’d love for you to share it with me!
And guess what? I did create another list of things I want to see “less of” in my life, too. That’s for me to know, and you to hopefully see less of! 🙂
Before I ring out of here for the year, I wanted to share one of my favorite poems with you. My prayer for you as we “ring in the New Year” is that you find a way to “Ring Out, Wild Bells” this year – loud and clear! Find your direction, your True North (for me it’s Christ the Lord!), and continue to walk that way, never straying from your path!
Peace, Love, & Joy in the New Year!!!
“Ring Out, Wild Bells” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1850)
- Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
- The flying cloud, the frosty light
- The year is dying in the night;
- Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
- Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
- The year is going, let him go;
- Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
- For those that here we see no more,
- Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
- Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
- And ancient forms of party strife;
- Ring in the nobler modes of life,
- With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
- The faithless coldness of the times;
- Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
- But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
- The civic slander and the spite;
- Ring in the love of truth and right,
- Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
- Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
- Ring out the thousand wars of old,
- Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
- The larger heart the kindlier hand;
- Ring out the darkness of the land,
- Ring in the Christ that is to be.