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Is it too late to say Happy New Year if you haven't seen someone since last year?

I’m writing this at the end of January, and it seems like we are well into the new year already. I said “happy new year” to someone last week and the response was “when does it get too late to say this?” Not quite what I was expecting. When is it too late to say Happy NewYear to someone if you haven’t seen them since last year? I figured the end of January was probably as long as I could stretch saying this to someone meaningfully. I’ve been visiting other churches in Dunedin over the last few Sundays while I was on leave, and was struck by a sermon about new beginnings and endings. For something to start, something else has had to end. We were challenged as to what needs to end in our lives so something new can start. Not in terms of a new year resolution, but in terms of how we live our lives for God. A few years ago I had the policy that if I was to take on a job/position/hobby/something new then I had to let something that I was already doing go. I had to make space for that new “thing” to take wings and grow and for me to give it the time to do that. If I couldn’t at that time let something go, then I couldn’t take on anything new. At times it got frustrating for me, at other times I ignored my own policy and just took on morecommitments, making as much space for them as I could within the 24 hours of each day and myalready full days. Over the last couple of years, I was challenged to write downeverything I was involved in. Reality set in as I realized just how committed I was, and that I really couldn’t give 100% to all of those commitments, and to myself. I’ve given up a lot of those things over the past 2 years as I have been training for ordination. I’m on that new journey, a new beginning- to be the best I can in ministry and as a servant of God- so I needed to intentionally make the time and space for that to happen. New beginnings take energy, take work to keep them going. This new year will bring joys and sorrows to each of us, may we share both with each other. As I heard recently, a joy shared is a joy doubled, a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved. Lamentations 3:22-24 “The Lord's kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed. The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning. Deep in my heart I say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on him!”” (CEV) And to those I haven’t seen or talked with yet this year– Happy New Year!

Rachael Masterton

National Chaplain

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