Pastor Reflections

Fresh Start

Phew!  We did it!  We finished another year and experienced a beautiful Advent season.  Happy 2020!  The New Year always feels so fresh and clean - a fresh start.  The first day of a new year with new possibilities.  How many resolutions do you usually make?  I always reflect on what I want to do that is fresh and clean in the New Year, but like most folks, a few weeks into the New Year I seem to forget about what it was that I had resolved to do differently.  Science says that it takes about two months for a new habit to become an automatic behavior.  Resolutions seem to be a grind especially since we so often want immediate gratificiation.  Our brothers and sisters in the world of addiction have resolved to doing “it” (their attempt at behavior change) one day at a time and by “keep coming back.”  If our desire for change is so huge that it is overwhelming, this method can increase the probability of success many-fold.  Sadly, we often reject this method because we want to say, “I am not one of those people.”  And yet we are because we are human, and it is only the “object of our addiction” that is different.

For humans that are goal orientated, selecting something to work for, or choosing a calendar date for which to plan for success can add greatly to the probability of reaching one’s goal.  Maybe this is a path we can take as a Covenant Family in 2020.  I think the heavens may be aligned for that in this year.  We have an earlier Lenten season that can be our calendar reference, and an extra day in February for Leap Year.  As a church, I believe we take our efforts forward and keep them out of the secular realm of resolutions and keep them in the Divine realm where God operates.  That said, our year does not necessarily start on 1/1/20, but instead on 1/6/2020 - Epiphany.  Just as Advent is a time of renewal for us each year, Epiphany is an annual opportunity to celebrate the affirmation of Christ’s coming to the Gentiles; in essence, the time we got the Good News!

By the time you read this CRIER, we will already have experienced Epiphany and most of you should have your Epiphany Stars in your hands.  Others will collect theirs along the way.  The pondering of our Star Words is an excellent way to set goals for transforming into the people God needs us to be.  If you need to stake out a calendar date for your efforts, then Ash Wednesday or the first Sunday in lent become great dates   There will be a date where plans can be made to evaluate your progress on your Star Word, or other God goals.  If you are not quite where you want to be, commit to continuing with it through Lent and beyond, or if you feel you have reached an automatic behavior, ask for another Star Word from Covenant or directly from God. Most importantly, all of this is a life time endeavor - so - work on it a day at a time and keep coming back to church and your Covenant family.  Here you will find the support, inspiration, and the love you need to be Christ’s hands and feet in this world, and the person God made you to be!

Your Pastor, Linda