When the clock struck midnight last night, 525,600 minutes stood before you and 2018. Minutes that have yet to be unwrapped. Minutes that hold untold possibilities. Minutes that could reveal heartache or healing. 525,600 minutes. How will you use them?
I have never been keen on New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I manage to break nearly all of them by the end of the first week! But each new year — like each new day — is an opportunity for me to recommit to the things that matter most to me, to recalibrate my inner moral compass, to realign myself to the things that offer life to me and others.
As 2017 unfolds like the precious flower it is, here are the things I am recommitting myself to:
Stay connected to God. I try to turn to God as soon as I wake up, and before I go to bed. To say YES to the possibilities of the new day God has set before me, and to say THANK YOU for all that the day has brought me. My conversations with God are the first and last ones I have each day. Through them, I am reminded that no matter how bad my day may have been, no matter how much I may be dreading what may be in store for me in the new day, “in all things God works for good.” My task is to join with God to co-create the good.
Stay grounded in love. This is related to staying connected to God. If God is love, and love is of God, it is critical to remain loving in all that I do. This is what heals the world. This is the power that overcomes hatred. This is the impetus for justice.
Remain open-hearted to others. Hostility cannot be met with more hostility. An open heart is necessary if relationships — especially with one’s enemies — are forged in order to change the world. This requires a willingness to be vulnerable and experience pain, but the rewards to be reaped always outweigh the costs.
Not confuse diverse opinions with division. Diverse opinions are needed and necessary in a healthy community. Diversity of thought stretches us to a fuller experience of life and helps us all have bigger dreams for this life we share. Division occurs when we stop offering each other mutual respect, shout each other down, and fail to recognize that we are not the only ones to possess truth.
Take time to laugh each day. This is as critical to me as my morning workout. Others need coffee in the morning, I need a good cardio workout. Laughter is an aerobic workout for my soul. Laughter reminds me not to take myself so seriously.
Stay vigilant. Every year begins with the promise of countless possibilities, yet also carries the potential for trauma and tragedy, pain and pathos, not only for ourselves, but for others. 2017 is no exception. My task is to listen to lives that are different from my own; to hear their challenges and concerns as they encounter the world. Together, we can protect each other’s humanity, rights, and freedoms. Together, we can stand for peace and justice. Together, we can push back the forces of hatred and inhumanity.
So, in 2017, I am recommitting myself to creating Beloved Community — to seek right relationship with God, others, and Creation. I will extend the energy of joy in a world that often feels joyless and lacking in hope. I will seek to offer my best self in every situation, and create the space for others to do the same.