Weekly Reflection - 1/4/2023
St. Mary's Reflection: Elizabeth Falcon, Vestry Member
As we welcome 2023, I'm struck by a familiar feeling of disbelief at how quickly the past year flew by. In the year to come, I long to do a better job of being present and thankful for every moment before it passes me by. All of it. The exquisite moments, the excruciating moments, and especially those subtle in-between moments that are so easy to overlook. I strive to hold great reverence for the glorious gift of taking another trip around the sun.
In doing so, all too often, I'll merely default to the good ol’ advice of "count your blessings." I imagine many of us also reflect on our highs and lows for the day. Truth be told, it often seems that these cognitive processes don't fully hit the mark.
Even the accountant in me, who takes an embarrassing amount of comfort in numbers, is skeptical about just “counting your blessings” as if some grand calculation exists. Is gratefulness really that formulaic and transactional? Perhaps gratitude should come from a more robust source that doesn't hinge on variable occurrences throughout the day or even the year.
Perhaps, too, we’re not always well placed to determine what is or isn’t, in fact, a blessing in the totality of God's plan. As Kipling wrote, "meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same."
Increasingly, I'm finding that a beautiful piece needed for gratitude and being present is the practice of faith. When trusting in God’s love, timing, and grace, it’s then that I feel more thankful and mindful in a profound, enchanting experience. As Brother David Steindl-Rast wrote, “Faith is the courage to respond gratefully to every given situation, out of trust in the Giver… A grateful person says, “Thank you!” and only afterward checks what’s inside the gift wrapping.”
Happy New Year to the very special SMV community. May the new year fill your heart with gratitude, hope, and all the love of God.