The air is different, surprisingly so.   Untethered, I wait for instructions.   Czeslaw Milosz meets me each morning in his collected poems, instructing me on what it means to see.   The psalmist tells me that plans come to nothing on the day we die, and that those who trust in the Lord are blessed.   George MacDonald’s words remind me that humans can create monstrous ideas about who and what God is, and that simple love, care, and concern manifest in human life are often better incarnations of the divine than the highest monarchical theologies.

My family spent an hour on January 1st recounting the blessings of 2010.   Tears flowed freely as we shared our thanks–to each other and to God.   We spoke of small things and great things, accomplishments and gifts, the mundane and the holy.  From time spent in various parts of the world, to daily comforts, to relationships that continue to surprise us with their power and depth, to the hope of all future things.

And we talked of 2011.  What is coming?  Who can tell, but each day is an opportunity.  All of us audition for shots at meaning and happiness, seeking roles to play that fit only us.   As I read back through “Getting Things Done”, I know GTD will not determine what meaning and purpose we bring to our hours.   Human life must be expressed, incarnated, ideas and dreams and potentials enfleshed, and it is not as simple as goal-setting and first steps getting done.   Yet, action is forever, and plans are needed, commitment determines all, and freedom is framed with discipline and work.   We make the world again in 2011, and we do it in the name of the Christ, that first Maker of all things.

Writing begins.  It’s been three years since I sat so open in front of my computer.  As Annie Dillard says, no one cares, really, whether I write or not, and if I were to die today, the world would roll on, and the great sea of time would bring in the tide and my footsteps and ink marks and notes from yesteryear’s journals would be washed away into that nothing the psalmist was telling me about this morning.   But the faith is that somehow God takes those small marks and guides them here and there, and they land in singular lives and hearts that only he knows about, that only he understands.   And those small marks make more marks, other marks, eternal marks, and so the world and history is written.

So let beginnings come.  Let them begin now.  Not tomorrow, but today.   This is the day my Father has made.   I will rejoice and be glad in it.

I will…


2 Replies to “Beginnings”

  1. Jeff,

    Thanks for such great words. I grumpily entered 2011 having enjoyed the safe sweet time with just my families attention. Knowing today the ‘work’ begins.

    Your words are great. Let us create with joy and a sense of extravagance as those about to pass who will soon be forgotten. Such beauty that only lasts for the instant in which it exists.


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