A Prayer for the New Year

“I’m finding myself at a loss for words…”
so the song goes.
And it’s true.
I am at a loss –
a loss for words
a loss for sighs
a loss even for groans.
So I think I’ll be quiet for a while.

If I am quiet – which is difficult for me…
if I am quiet, I just might find the words…
or I just might hear the words:
The words that I need to say,
the words that I need to hear.

So, I’ll start by asking for a little help…
….to be quiet.
To be still.
To be.

Help! Please…

I’ll try breathing in,
and breathing out.
Breathing in the newness of this day
and of this year.
Breathing out the old…
the old sorrows,
the old regrets,
the old patterns that can too easily cause me to lose my way.

How long has it been, Lord?
How long has it been since I’ve been truly still in your presence?
Still enough to hear my heart beating.
Still enough to feel my body settle,
Still enough to let go of…
what worries me,
what drives me,
what irritates me,
what excites me,
what distracts me,
what upsets me,
what consumes me?

Forgive me, Lord, for holding on so tightly,
to everything, and everyone else in my life,
and for neglecting the “one thing that is needed,”
as you so kindly described it to Martha, that
over-committed-to-the-point-of-distraction sister,
that dear disciple whom you loved.

Thank you that you love me, too.
Thank you that you love my brothers and sisters,
so many of whom are a lot like me,
a lot like Martha.

And help us to make room for the Mary in us –
that part of us who stops to listen as well as talk,
who stops, completely guilt-free, every once in a while,
who loves to learn by sitting and watching
as well as by working and doing.

It’s a new year, a new beginning, a fresh start.
Thank you for this small space to enjoy that newness,
thank you for a piece of silence, however fleeting,
in which to remember again…
who you are,
who I am,
what is really important in this life I’ve been given.

For life is indeed a gift –
even when it’s hard,
even when it’s filled with loss,
even when it’s confusing,
even when it’s overwhelming,
even when it’s scary,
even when it seems too short.

Life is a gift, filled with wonder as well as regret,
with simple joys as well as complicated problems,
with sweetness as well as sadness,
with beautiful, heart-stopping, life-saving moments,
moments that glisten and glimmer against the darkness without.
Moments that help me keep things in perspective.
Thank you for it all. Thank you for life.
Help me to live it well.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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