I wonder how you feel at the beginning of this new year. It looks as if it is going to be a year of continuing changes on the political level with many unknowns; on a personal note many of us again cannot predict what the year will hold.
One of my friends last year said she had a feeling that 2016 was not going to be a good year for her, sadly she was right with a hospital visit and a barrage of tests being just part of her year. But even amidst the hard parts she made some good memories as well. If you had a year like hers I am sure you are glad to see the back of 2016. Maybe some of you have had the opposite experience and are slightly sad to see 2016 end.
One of the things she said is that after all that happened this year she wanted to simplify her life. I remember reading a magazine article once which said we should all un-clutter our lives; in their case it meant reducing their life to less than 100 possessions. Now for some of you that may seem very do-able but it is all a bit beyond me – maybe I’ll aim for 1000, well maybe a few thousand! I also wonder who actually has time to count how many possessions they own (and does a pair of socks count as one or two items?).
Having said that I do believe there is something important here about simplifying our lives, to work out what is important and what holds us back – to give up some clutter, material and emotional, and to live simpler lives.
Sometimes we need to stop and take a look at our lives. Is there so much going on that we don’t have any time, as the poem says, to ‘stand and stare’? Or is the converse true, do we need to find a new hobby or project to put our energies into.
We need to hold onto what is important to us but maybe there is a time to let go of what is not. Many of us have things in our lives that hold us back and stop us being who we were created to be. I suspect getting rid of them will be easier said than done. Maybe in 2017 we can each take small steps with God’s help and with good friends alongside us to encourage us to aim for that simpler life.
Thank you. A big thank you to everyone who helped at the Christmas services especially to the Croscombe and Dinder Choir; those who read at the carol services; decorated the Churches so beautifully or provided refreshments after the services.