Published on January 05, 2018


A New Year at the Door

If you are standing in a doorway, which room are you a part of—the one you are leaving behind or the one you are entering?

Doorways are unique because they bridge two spaces. For instance, the front door of a house: is it a door into the house or is it a door to the world beyond? Well, it’s both. If you are standing in a doorway, which room are you a part of?

This is the unique nature of the New Year, a moment we sometimes hear described as “the doorway” from one year (2017) to another (2018). When someone says, “We stand at the threshold,” we know what is meant is that while we are still resident in one place, we are about to enter another.

The page on the calendar changes from one year to the next, and we struggle to remember to write or type the new year on our documents. We are making a psychological transition through a doorway in time. We cross a threshold from what is known and can be tallied up and summarized, into the unknown where the history has not yet been written. What may happen next is still to be determined.

How will you approach the New Year?  Many of us will use this moment to set resolutions, even though our experience is that sometimes these well-meaning goals are difficult to achieve. Standing at the threshold of a new year, I have a list of this kind of resolution that is probably not that different from yours. And two of those goals are ones that I think we can all share.

I want to be more open to God’s leading in the new year. The words to an old hymn can serve as a prayer to God that each day I will “see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly.”  I can’t think of a more important resolution than this one. May the doors of our hearts be more open to God in 2018.

And the second goal is that I will be more attentive to the needs of those around me. “Be an opener of doors” is the way Ralph Waldo Emerson said it. My resolve is that in 2018 I will be more aware of the doorways that human relationships represent. May the relationships we nurture with one another be portals to better communication and understanding of the lives and communities we create together.

Happy New Year! May God’s richest blessings be yours in the days to come, and may 2018 bring us many moments to learn, grow, and be of service together.

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