A new year. A new perspective.
A Personal Reflection from Stephen Noone
The new year is often a time when we contemplate new opportunities, new mindsets and new year’s resolutions. Like many, I often find myself dreaming about the things that I can do to improve myself and how this year will be the ‘new year, new me’ journey.
Being a member of a Christian community helps me to see the new year in a different light. At the beginning of each year, as a community, we spend six days in prayer and fasting. As Catholics, we are also asked to fast at particular times of the year, but how often do we stop and really consider why? While reducing the waist-line is a bonus, it’s not the reason we do this (or at least it shouldn’t be!).
We place our own hopes and resolutions for the year in God’s hands
During the six days of prayer and fasting, as a community we shift the focus away from our own wants and needs by giving up food or some other life-staple, so we may shift our focus towards God through prayer. In taking this time aside, we place our own hopes and resolutions for the year in God’s hands – He is sovereign after all.
For me this time of year is a great opportunity to remember that while I may have a list of things I would like to do and change in the coming year, it’s OK if I don’t see them all through to completion. Life gets in the way and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing if many of our new year’s resolutions aren’t realised.
We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you
I am reminded of the words of King Jehoshaphat in the Bible who was confronted with an attack from an overwhelming enemy. He proclaimed a time of prayer and fasting for the nation of Israel and to conclude his prayer to God, he stated: ‘…we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
For me, this passage is a good reminder that my life is ultimately resting safely in God’s hands. While God is interested in my plans and desires, what’s equally if not more important, is that I learn to look to Him, and trust that He will be faithful in providing what I need.
Stephen Noone is an Employment Relations Specialist at CCER