SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: New beginnings in a new year

Change is rarely easy. A change has come to the Deep Cove Crier with the retirement of the publisher Bruce Coney. We give thanks for the 29 years of faithful service Bruce has given to the Seymour/Deep Cove community.

Like the George Bailey character in It’s a Wonderful Life, Bruce has made a significant difference in the building of the community feeling here.  

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Without unselfish people, little is built that truly lasts. The Deep Cove Crier is a unique paper that has helped us all feel like we belong. It is very easy to feel like an outsider in this fast-paced urbanized metro culture.

The Crier reminds us that there is more to life than just getting ahead and being successful. Life is about relationships, about commitment, about love of neighbour.  

In this new year, we all have an opportunity to make new beginnings. What kind of fresh start might we want to do? For some, it is about losing a few pounds gained through too much delicious Christmas cake. For others, it may be about finally giving up smoking, or perhaps going to 12 step group to work on one’s addictions.

All of us have the potential to become a better person, a more loving person, a healthier person. This never happens by accident. The new year gives us a special opportunity to decide to be different.

We may be involved in a relationship that has become very toxic. This January may be an opportunity to finally go for counselling to work out one’s future. It is remarkable how much people spend on a divorce that they were unwilling to spend on counselling appointments. I often say to people that even if you cannot ultimately save your marriage, you will bring healing to your body, mind and spirit, if you do the hard work of personal transformation.

Jesus the Great Physician was always challenging people to become healthy, to choose life, to learn to forgive. Imagine how our lives might change if we actually applied Jesus’ practical advice in the new year.

Imagine what might happen if we choose to read a passage of scripture like the Sermon on the Mount, like Gandhi did every day, and actually apply it to our lives? Imagine what might happen if we became honest with God and told him what was really going on in our lives? Sure, God already knows. But when we open our hearts and minds to God, it is amazing what may begin to occur.  

What kind of new beginnings would you like in 2016? What kind of sacrifices are you willing to make so that practical changes actually happen? What kind of person would you like to be by the end of 2016? My prayer for each of us in the Seymour/Deep Cove community is that we will seize the day, and embrace new beginnings in this new year.  

Rev. Ed Hird is the rector at St. Simon’s Church in North Vancouver. stsimonschurch.ca

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