We have gone from singing "it's the most wonderful time of the year" and wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas" to singing "Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?" and wishing everyone "Happy New Year."
In 2022, one of the first lessons in Children's Worship, we learned that the church year is in the shape of a circle instead of timeline. I tend to think that my years are going around in a circle, like riding on a merry-go-round or carousel.
This made me remember an obscure song from my younger days by composed Joni Mitchell called The Circle Game. The song is about a boy's growing up being compared to a ride on a carousel. As the seasons go around, like the painted ponies on the carousel go up and down, so does his life. Since he is traveling in a circle, he can't see anything new coming up, but he can look back to see where he has been. This is how I feel at the beginning of each new year. I can think back on the past year and see when things were good or up and when things weren't so good or down.
As I look forward to the new year, it looks pretty much the same as it does every year. I know that winter's chill will end in early March and spring flowers will soon follow. Since I have retired from teaching, I thought my carousel ride would slow down but it hasn't. The song says the boy is told to enjoy his youth because it won't be long until he will want to drag his feet to slow the carousel ride down. I'm tempted to drag my feet to slow my carousel ride down, but I am still enjoying the busyness of my ride (most of the time anyway). I hope that you are enjoying your ride on the "circle of life".
The prophet Jeremiah tells us in chapter 29 verse 11, "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."