A Prayer for the New Year

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, although I do try to start a new year off with a fresh start. A new year always seems like a second chance, a fresh beginning. Beginning something new is not easy . . . just like having to write a new year’s date on a check for the first time – you forget, and unconsciously write the previous year in the tiny box.

I already know 2011 will be a watershed one for me.  The likelihood of three aging parents making it through to 2012 is slim. My daughter getting married. Endings and beginnings. Bookends with lots of unknowns in-between them.

I Hold My Life Up to You Now

by Ted Loder in Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle (1984: Innisfree Press, Inc.)

Patient God, the clock struck midnight and I partied with a strange sadness in my heart, confusion in my mind.

Now I ask you to gather me, for I realize the storms of time have scattered me, the furies of the year have driven me, many sorrows have scarred me, many accomplishments have disappointed me, much activity has wearied me, and fear has spooked me into a hundred hiding places, one of which is pretended gaiety.

I am sick of a string of “Have a nice day’s.”

What I want is passionate days, wondrous days, blessed days, surprising days.

What I want is you!

Patient God, this day teeters on the edge of waiting and things seem to slip away from me, as though everything was only a memory and memory is capricious.

Help me not to let my life slip away from me.

O God, I hold up my life to you now, as much as I can, in this mysterious reach called prayer.

Come close, lest I wobble and fall short.

It is not days or years I seek from you, not infinity and enormity, but small things and moments and awareness, awareness that you are in what I am and in what I have been indifferent to.

It is not new time, but new eyes, new heart I seek, and you.

Patient God, in this teetering time, this time of balance, this time of waiting, make me aware of moments, moments of song, moments of bread and friends, moments of jokes (some of them on me) which, for a moment, deflate my pomposities; moments of sleep and warm beds, moments of children laughing and parents bending, moments of sunsets and sparrows outspunking winter, moments when broken things get mended with glue or guts or mercy or imagination; moments when splinters sine and rocks shrink, moments when I know myself blest, not because I am so awfully important, but because you are so awesomefully God, no less of the year to come as of all the years past; no less of this moment than of all my moments; no less of those who forget you as of those who remember, as I do now, in this teetering time.

O patient God, make something new in me, in this year, for you.

2 thoughts on “A Prayer for the New Year

  1. Sharon-

    Thank you for this reflection and wonderful ‘prayer’ from Loder. To be so aware of the opportunities before you in the coming year could feel overwhelming. May you be as present to each moment as possible.

    Happy New Year!


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