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January 4, 2022

Dear friends,

This is around the time that people make New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always liked this tradition, though I’ve never been able to keep any of my resolutions. I’ve tried a lot of avenues. I’ve done the working out attempt. The Journaling. The meditating. But I’ve never been able to keep my New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve tried the accountability, and the tracking apps, and all of those things.

I’m not sure why. Making a positive change is hard for me to stick to. I want so bad to be able to do it, but I always fall short. Which disappoints me, and that sends me down another road on which I do not want to travel.

So, I began a New Tradition. I read poetry and prayers. I seek to set up my year not by setting a goal that I will not attain, but by rooting myself in prayer. I turn to Wendell Berry’s Sabbath poems, but on the first day of the year, and when we gather for worship on the first Sunday of the year, I like to read the Wesley Covenant Prayer. We read it on Sunday, and I want to share it here. I find that this puts me in the right frame of mind for the year, and we will start here, for what is sure to be quite the year.

“I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things

to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”



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