There is hope

January 15, 2020 · Print This Article

This morning, I watched the sun rise – again. In January you do not have to get up exceptionally early to see the beginning of a new day. We are just a few weeks into the beginning of a new year – a time that is touted as being one of the more depressing seasons.

In Britain and other Western nations, New Year comes at the coldest, darkest time in the calendar. At the moment of writing there are only eight hours of daylight, against sixteen hours of darkness. The spark of hope that accompanied the celebratory fireworks, as they followed the hour of midnight around the globe, has begun to fade. We once more become enmeshed in the everyday tasks of earning a living, looking after families – just getting on with the continuous task of being human – all that enthusiasm that created our resolutions for the year ahead might be beginning to fade.

It seems as though we are built for beginnings – moments that renew the hope we need that we can change things for the better – that there are better times ahead. And our lives can be seen as a catalogue of beginnings. There is the moment we were born – whenever that was. It may be a long time ago now and the candles may be getting too many for the cake.  We wish each other, ‘many happy returns’, expressing the wish that the year ahead will be kind and the next birthday celebration will be a joyful one. It doesn’t always work out that way but we hope.

Another beginning was the first day at a new school. You might remember it – putting on strange new clothes, filled with anticipation or fear about what lay ahead.  There were new things to do, new people to meet, new rules to follow – it was another new beginning. Marriage is another beginning, filled with hope for the future. We celebrate it with our closest friends, looking forward to a life spent together with someone we love.

Sometimes the hope that we have at the moment of these new beginnings is not fulfilled. Things maybe do not work out the way we had planned or anticipated. The resolutions from the New Year are forgotten. The year between one birthday and the next might carry any number of trials and difficulties. Marriages can end too quickly – and winter comes around again. But there will be a sunrise tomorrow. There will be another beginning, another new day, and that can be a source of hope that is repeated again – and again.

GK Chesterton found expression for this when he pictured a God who was so involved in His creation, so wrapped up in the continuing process of life and the hope that it embraces, that he wrote in his book, Orthodoxy, “Is it possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’, to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’, to the moon.”

Chesterton described this as the “eternal appetite of childhood”, suggesting a quality in the Creator that is worth emulating. We can look forward to the next sunrise – if hope accompanies a new beginning, then we don’t have to wait until the next new year in 2021.

Maggie Mitchell info@because.uk.com

Maggie is an editor at Because

Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash
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