New year – New hopes

So begins another year. Nothing earth-shattering happened at midnight or shortly thereafter. I have yet to write a check to remember the 2012 and not 2011. I have yet to write a letter or card with the same challenge (although there is one item to be sent tomorrow).

I have a dear friend who kindly sends me daily inspirations verses from the Bible. This year, I decided to make it a point to keep track of them. So, by year’s end, a document with 366 verses to reference – ideally.

Today’s verse came from Psalm 33, verse 3: “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy.”

The first thing that came to mind was the harmony of the choir and congregation on any given Sunday, accompanied by one of the organists and maybe a flute player or two. The skill and practice required to have the songs come out just so – the time invested for the short moment of enjoyment that may hopefully linger as a pleasant memory – God-given talents. One organist in particular ended service with a medley of Bach and older, seldom played hymns. On those days, it didn’t hurt to be the last one out.

My brother and I enjoyed a chat and I couldn’t help reflecting on musical endeavors past, instruments forgotten, skills now vanished. If practice and persistence continued, what kind of music could be created or played now? That wasn’t the primary focus of our chat – looking that far back. The focus was in the blessings we have, the new year before us, and the things that money could never buy – security of family, foundation of faith – things that can’t be wrapped with a bow.

Do we shout about these sorts of things from the rooftops? No. We’re known for being relatively quiet about such things. If there is any shouting to be had on my side, it’s when frustrations have hit a supposedly impossible limit (and often with the foolish forgetfulness of taking such worries to God in prayer).

Yet, children are fearless in singing, playing, shouting – and with good reason: they have much to be excited about. Observing a Christmas Eve program, I dare you to find a child who would keep their light under a basket, dimming the message so eager to be shared.

While I know I am nowhere near the childish years (by official calendar count – some might argue, with adequate evidence that calendars have no bearing on behavior, humor and imagination), it would be a fun challenge to begin the year with child-like enthusiasm, daring to try something new, remembering to rediscover/reclaim something old, and whatever else may lie in between.

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