The message I want to convey to you as we begin this New Year is to make sure you notice what is beautiful, what is blessed around you and within you. It is a choice that is always open to us. We can choose to begin each day thanking God for the gift of life, the gift of breath and the spirit that is with us at every moment.
We can notice God’s presence in a sip of water, a slice of bread, a piece of fruit. In this way of thanking God, we stop and notice many times a day – that we are awake, that we are alive, that there are wonders everywhere around us, and that God is revealed to us through these everyday miracles whenever we choose to take notice. This is a choice we are given: the choice to notice – i.e. to notice our blessings.
Obviously, the course of our lives is not shaped only by our own moral choices. Pain and loss show up. Other people fail us; we are hurt in many ways despite the right choices we try to make.
But this day, each day, we are offered the choice to pay attention to the beauty and wonder that surrounds us and pervades our lives.
It is my hope and prayer that we will see these blessings and give thanks.
With much affection,