Tag Archives: new beginnings

When you’re desperate enough

How desperate do you feel? Thoreau believed most people “lead lives of quiet desperation” (Walden, “Economy”), not the frantic desperation of someone who’s in imminent danger, but the subtler kind, the low-level anxiety that slowly eats away at us. We may pretend it doesn’t exist, but once in a while it bubbles up and lets […]

The growing edge

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a great time for reviewing and appraising the ending year in preparation for the new year that’s set to begin, and for many years I’ve used it for just that. Clearing my desktop, purging files and lists, and preparing a fresh journal have been the heart […]

Lifting the angel latch

“The secret of happiness,” Socrates said, “is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Tradition holds that when a person desired to enter a monastery, he would stand on the threshold, strip naked, and plead for admission, upon which he would be given new clothing appropriate to the new […]

Plotting resurrection

On the first day of the week some women came to the cemetery to find the body of Jesus. They did what any of us would have done. They came looking for him where they had left him, where they had last seen him, where they knew he must surely still be. And there they […]

Standing on the promises

If you made New Year’s resolutions, odds are good you’ve already started to lose focus on them or have already broken them. New Year’s resolutions seem to last about as long as Christmas trees; on December 26 the first Christmas trees began to appear at the curb in our neighborhood, and on January 2 the […]

A steady center holding

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, as sure as the sunrise.” Those words from Lamentations are part of my first prayer every morning when, after night has offered a buffer of rest between yesterday and today, the world is made new. […]

Valedictory

On the occasion of my last Sunday serving as pastor of the Williamsville (New York) United Methodist Church. This is the season for valedictory and commencement addresses. At high schools, colleges, and universities all over the country, speakers try to make sense of the bittersweet stew of farewells and new beginnings. United Methodist clergy on […]

Always we begin again

My soul, sit thou a patient looker-on; Judge not the play before the play is done; Her plot has many changes; every day Speaks a new scene; the last act crowns the play. —Francis Quarles (1592–1644)   For the past two weeks, we’ve been witnessing a couple of fierce contests come to a kind of […]

Making a fresh start

The first job of any job is to learn. Tim Gannon knows that. The Outback Steakhouse founder claims he has yet to meet a successful business person who didn’t have a great story to tell about starting off on the ground floor. Chris Kearney, CEO of industrial products giant SPX Corporation, affirms that a successful […]