A NEW YEAR
A ten second countdown,
the drop of a crystal ball,
and just like that,
one year is over and another has begun.
Turning the page on one’s life brings with it a mixture of emotions.
Some good; some bad.
As I turn from the dimly-lit past to focus on a bright tomorrow, a similar mixture of emotions sweep over me.
CREATING A BEAUTIFUL LIFE
American sculptor and musician, Thomas Ball (1819-1911), penned poignant words to describe his feelings of inadequacy as an artist. His description is a beautiful representation of the feelings I have about my own personal efforts to create a beautiful life.
“My most bitter tears have been shed at the completion of some work, when I felt that i had done all I could do, and yet found it so far from what I had hoped to make it, and that it must go out to the world with all its imperfections. Falling upon my knees in agony, praying for comfort and faith to believe the present disappointment to be for my ultimate good, I have arisen comforted and strengthened in the hope that perhaps I had worked better than I knew, and that in my next work I might be permitted to approach a little nearer my ideal. Imperfect and unsatisfactory as all my works seem to me, I shudder when I think of what they might have been, and what I might have been, without that firm belief that He was ever at my right hand as long as I was true to myself,–to bear me up when I would have fainted, to help me when my strength failed me.
“I write this for the encouragement of my young brothers in art; not those arrogant and proud ones who believe in nothing but their own strength and will, jealous at even a hint of any assistance from a higher power–let them revel in their belief; but in the hour when their strength fails them! — But to that sensitive, retiring one who shrinks from the sound of approbation,–not daring, with his humble nature, to believe in its sincerity,–to him I would say, Coraggio! You are stronger than you imagine; be but sincere and conscientious in your efforts; work away with all your might. Strive to live a pure and clean life, and to improve the talents God has given you, and leave the rest to him. He will not let you fail. Keep up a good heart; cultivate a cheery disposition,…Above all, beware of the first thought or feeling that you are born unlucky,or that you are neglected or unappreciated. Do not think of those who seem to be successful beyond their merit. Your time will surely come, if you deserve it. Be prepared for it when it comes. Beyond everything else, cherish Faith and Hope, the mother and godmother of Patience.” (bold lettering added)
ONE WORD FOR 2018
As we delve head first into the adventure of a new year, which attributes do you desire to carry with you along the way? Thomas Ball named many attributes that I would like to add to my arsenal (or palette, for is not the life we choose to create our greatest masterpiece of all?), but the primary attribute I have chosen to focus on—my word for 2018—is “serenity”.
The ability to see light in darkness
Presence of mind
All these words and more encompass what the word serenity means to me.
That I may develop a serene mindset, a softer heart, and a greater hope in Christ is my desire for the new year.
What one word encompasses all you hope to achieve in the coming year?
With your one word in mind, I wish you all the best in 2018 as you move forward with the creation of another beautiful year of your life.
More New Year encouragement: https://downaspenlane.com/2017/10/11/words-that-encourage/