For Every Ending There is a New Beginning
By Joyce D. Sohl
The ending of the year and the beginning of the new is an annual occurrence that causes us to reflect on the endings and beginnings within our lives. Have you noticed that for every ending there is a beginning? Do endings bring about feelings of sadness and sometimes despair, or are endings an opportunity for reflection and remembering? Do you look forward to beginnings with joy and anticipation, or are beginnings frightening and even perhaps threatening?
As you reflect on and remember 2014, hard questions must be asked. What did I learn from my experiences? Have I grown because of them? Did I witness to my faith? Has my spiritual life been enriched and strengthened? Did I participate with others to bring about a greater sense of justice in my community or the world? Endings call us to accountability, to evaluation, and perhaps even to ask for forgiveness.
For every ending there is a new beginning. We must learn to approach beginnings as new opportunities and challenges. The new will not be like the old, and we must in some way forget the past in order to accept what is possible in the new. A new year is before us. We cannot map out the whole year, but we can accept each new day that God gives us as an important day – one we have never experienced before. 2015 has 365 days full of possibilities for each of us, the world, our nation, our communities and our churches.
The prophet Isaiah challenged the Hebrew people with these words: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19). They and we are to let go of the old and the past and be open and alert to the new things God is doing in our midst. God has many surprises in store for each of us in this new year. Bring to this beginning a spirit of hope, courage and love, and let God be your guide and companion in each ending and beginning during 2015.
May the year ahead bring
an awareness of the wholeness already within you,
a vision of the dreams you long for,
signs of the birthing within you,
an experience of the peace you desire,
the courage to enter new doors and cross thresholds,
and discover possibilities you have yet to imagine.
– Christine Valters Paintner
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.