“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the new year: Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown. And he replied: Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”
I love the back-to-back holidays of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It has nothing to do with going out and celebrating as I can count on one hand the times I’ve been “out” on NYE. I’ve always been fascinated with the annual transition that takes place in our lives as we turn the calendar page from December 31st to January 1st. I learned (a million years ago in Latin class) that January is named for the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions. With his two faces, Janus looks both back at the year gone by and also forward to the fresh new year ahead. We all tend to do that this time of year reflecting on what happened during the past year while looking forward with anticipation of what might be in the coming year. It’s a fresh beginning with the benefit of experience and new knowledge gained …. there is reflection, hope, and a real appreciation for all that is possible.
There are years that we are relieved to see end. Sad times, hard knocks and bad luck cause us to utter “good riddance” as the year closes. Then a run of great fortune, lifetime moments and brilliant achievements has us exclaiming “this was a banner year, one to remember!”
“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” — Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopperman
All this reflection sometimes leads to the desire for new opportunities. The real challenge for us is to take what we’ve learned and loved from the past with us as we bravely move into new territory. As we sail from our own “safe ports” or venture forth into the unknown … without so much as a lamp to light our way.
It really is those bold steps that lead us into a brighter future. When our stomachs flutter a bit … our nerves are on edge … when we are uncertain. That’s when we show the courage it takes to discover new things about ourselves. And isn’t that what life is really all about – discovering new things? Of course we celebrate the known but if no one dares to set sail or take that first step into the unknown, how can we ever reach the limits of what life has to offer?
Are you settling for the status quo in 2014? Are you thinking that maybe this is the year to try something new? To live boldly? There’s no time like the present to begin and Janus serves as a reminder that all the knowledge we’ve already gained will be with us on this incredible journey.
Best wishes to each of you in 2014. I hope you will leave the safety of port, knowing that you are strong enough to withstand the rigors of discovery and trust that by believing in yourself, and with the grace of God, you will find the right path.
Here’s a super quick and easy breakfast idea…skip the bread and it is great for those following a Paleo-diet too.
1 small ripe avocado, cut in half with pit removed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scoop some of the avocado out (go ahead and eat it) and place in oven proof dish. Crack the egg and put the white in one of the avocado halves and the yolk and a little of the white in the other. Grind some black pepper over top. Bake for 15 minutes or until the whites are just set. If you are making this for more than one person, use a large avocado and bake a whole egg in each half. Serve with toast.