Helen Keller wrote, "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
At the end of the year, it is easy to once again find yourself reflecting upon disappointments, or considered failures from the past twelve months. This is often what prompts New Year's resolutions. To try to change something, or make something new, because you feel that if you make this change, somehow, your life will change and things will become better.
Striking out, to try to make things better, or perhaps, to change a current trend in your life, is often difficult. Not just because it may be something completely foreign to you, but because the powers which bring about doubt or worry can be overwhelmingly strong. Often in these times the presence of God seems to be barely noticeable.
I wish that I could say that I was always strong in my convictions, or that my belief that I can actually do something be an overwhelming push to make me do what I do. However, on the contrary. It's often the realization that God is present, and that God will never lead me where I cannot find the means, the gifts, or be surrounded by people who are willing to share in the conviction so that when I do begin to fall away, or loose sight of who I am, or what God would require of me, only then can I truly move beyond, and, and Gandhi would reflect, "Be the change that you wish to see."
If we are faithful to what God is calling us to do, a new hunger will make itself known. This new hunger is the first sign of God's presence. When we remain attentive to this divine presence, we will discover that all things are being made new, and that will make a difference....
Happy New Year and Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
A Poem to the New Year
I watched as the old hands of time
made their way to midnight,
and like two hands folded in prayer
I said good bye to one year
and welcomed the next.
I can't say that I felt any remorse
as Auld Lang Syne
often makes me feel.
Somehow above the sounds
of rockets exploding,
people cheering and laughing,
a somber reminder that peace on earth
still has a long way to go.
I couldn't help but remember
the challenges this last year had brought,
as well as the hopes and dreams crushed,
but somewhere, under leaves
that withered and left
only a memory, a new leaf
emerges, as a new generation does.
I suppose I'm still a romantic,
filled with hope as
those who wish upon stars and cross their hearts.
Until the new year proves itself,
I might actually hold my breath
and pray I don't find myself gasping following some act.
Like so many others
on this journey,
I will raise to heaven,
with both heart and lips,
one more request.
"May God bless all humanity,
both living and the dead."
For on this day I am but one
among nations and city blocks,
"May I be healthy and strong. Be surrounded by those I love.
May strangers find hospitality, and may I be given the mind to discern Godly answers, when given the choice to answer or be silent."
"Teach me to be transparent, even when it seems overwhelmingly vulnerable."
"God of this new year, please, may YOU be, present to us always, even when we close our eyes."
And with that, I watched as the hands of time, slowly slipped away from one another.
In my heart it was clear,
I am the one who must now be
that will initiate all these things.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.