New Beginnings: Find Your Time and Place With God
By Julia Beacroft – We naturally consider the month of January to be a new beginning, and the commencement of a time when anything could happen. It’s the start of a new year when we make all kinds of promises to ourselves — and often fail to keep.
And after the long, lazy days of the summer holiday, education restarts in schools and universities. In fact, all kinds of courses and programmes burst forth at this time.
For parents, this recommencement is usually marked by digging out the children’s school uniforms to see what fits and what doesn’t — for me it always came as a shock to see how short trousers and sleeves had become during the six-week holiday. There may be the dreaded school uniform shopping trip as a result of this.
And often that is followed by that most laborious of tasks: marking all new uniform items with name tapes or various other methods.
Shops have traded on this phenomenon with their signs of “Back to School” to act as a yearly reminder.
And the Church is no different in its revival. After the summer holidays, when so many activities are put on hold, and the priest might take a well-deserved post-Christmas break, the Church launches into the new season’s activities with gusto.
It’s Lent Soon!
This is hardly surprising. Catechism classes begin; soon it’ll be Lent and before we know it it’s Holy Week and Easter. The Church is always geared up for the busy time ahead.
Likewise, our lives are marked by notable events: births, deaths and marriages, birthdays, new home, new job and a variety of others. In the same way the Church celebrates so many occasions which have been brought to us by scripture and tradition, and rightly so.
As we launch ourselves into this wonderful new year, with all its accompanying activities, this could be a time for us to consider some different and possibly new pursuits of our own.
Spending increased time with the Lord in prayer and reflection can be a challenge for many of us in our busy lives, but nevertheless a wholly worthwhile one.
New beginnings can be strange, exciting and delightful. But as we gather pace in the new year, may our hearts also be mellow with love of God as we find a place and time to be with him.
After all, marking time with the Lord is far preferable to marking school uniforms!
Julia Beacroft’s book Sanctifying The Spirit is published by Sancio Books. It is available on Amazon.