Here we are, a brand new year, 2023 __ sharing our traditions, resolutions, and ultimately remembering and in tune with MLK, Jr’s (‘ Hope for Now’).
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is no such thing as being too late. There is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. The bad news is time flies; the good news is you’re the pilot. Personally, I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring!!!
Paraphrasing Helen Steiner Rice from a book,” A COLLECTION OF BLESSINGS” that Rev. Dr. Dedric A. Cowser gave me on September 15, 2011:
“As the New Year starts and the old year ends
There’s no better time to make amends
For all the things we sincerely regret
And wish in our hearts we could somehow forget_
We all make mistakes, for it’s human to err,
But no one need ever give up in despair,
For God gives us all a brand-new beginning,
A chance to start over and repent of our sinning___
And when God forgives us we, too, must forgive
And resolve to do better each day that we live
By constantly trying to be like Him more nearly
And to trust in His wisdom and love Him more dearly__
Assured that we’re never out of His care
And we’re always welcome to seek Him in prayer.”
Now for the resolutions and some traditions for your ‘reflections’…
Our New Year’s ‘resolutions, well-intentional declarations will be abandoned quickly’ however, there are some simple tips for keeping them___
1. Make a Bucket List for the New Year; know what you want.
2. Focus on the Process and make it enjoyable.
3. Set mini goals and take small steps daily; connect better with your actions.
4. Write your goals down and use checklists; be selective with your attention.
5. Make goals that are attainable and measurable; turn things down so you can turn
Now, for the food traditions that ‘bring good luck’…yummy! , Black-Eyed Peas Lentils ( looking like coins ); Fish…especially herring ( symbolizing good fortune ); Noodles (longevity); Grapes and other fruit ( 12 types of fruit symbolizing each month )__regardless to the ‘Outcomes’ of eating these, we must admit they are tasty!!!
Beware…stop waiting on winning the ‘lottery’. lol
Other traditions than food___ Wearing red underwear (good luck); Take the Polar Plunge (usually for charity for ‘giving back’ and it is good for your skin and hair); Chair Jumping (making sure your feet are planted on the ground when they land in the next year)____some of the following are demonstrated in other countries (Pomegranate Throwing; Dressing Up Like Bears; Furniture Throwing; Graveyard Camping; Dropping Ice Cream On Floor; Baking Coins Into Desserts….all seem ridiculous but perhaps fun and meaningful to those who engage.
I don’t know whether this is done now but as a child, we look forward to the first visitor in your house on New Year’s Day had to be a male …Mr. Junior Davis was our community’s male ambassador. I forgot ‘why’ and the outcome for this…so if you remember, inform me please.
WATCH NIGHT SERVICE …at church (a traditional NEGRO ceremony with its beginnings during slavery where one’s spiritual anticipation for hope, faith, and praises for a better day/new year was joyful with testimonials, spirituals, prayers…then a gathering of food while fellowshipping with all!!!!!! At Sweet Home UMC, we would have the main lights out in the sanctuary, holding lit candles while worshipping, and at the stroke leading to midnight, we would leave outside with our candles and assemble in the fellowship hall for breakfast as the new dawn would break for a new year!!!! Oh, how I miss that tradition with the love of church families!!!!!
A New Year! A New Day! A New Life!!!
Not only on New Year’s but all the year through, God gives us a chance to begin life anew! For each day at dawning, we have but to pray that all the mistakes that we made yesterday will be blotted out and forgiven by grace…for God in His love will grant a new start to all who are truly repentant at heart.
Brenda M. Jelks-Hutchinson
(I am somebody praying that anybody will seek to help everybody )