Life in the Soul Lane columnist Sallee Wade offers responses to the New Year 2022

·4 min read
Sallee Wade
Sallee Wade

Chuck came for our usual Friday night dinner date, after which we welcomed in the 14th New Year together. The huge snowstorm predicted for Saturday, arrived on schedule, and halted everything except those unsung heroes who plow snow. Chuck plowed half the night on Saturday with a crew; then arrived at church Sunday, showered, shaved and ready to help serve the Communion trays he’d prepared the previous day — just in case. What a guy!

Sunday, I was wakened before dawn, unusual for me. I tossed and turned; pondered the frozen world beyond my window and tried again to sleep. Then from inside, rose with these words.

“REST – RE-ASSESS – RELINQUISH CONTROL – RECONNECT WITH GOD – and – RENOVATE”.

They came from a New Year sermon years ago by Rev. Sarah Parker at First Presbyterian Church. Now they revisited, offering gentle, silent guidance from the ‘Holy Spirit within me. (We all have one, you know). I’d needed that guidance back then and for sure I needed it now! Giving thanks, I wrote it in my journal, and happily returned to sleep.

Several hours hence, I woke to the sound of a city truck clearing snow. I’ve come to enjoy church online, for many reasons, not the least of which is, our church service was changed to 9:30 a.m.! I’m a night owl! The world outside stood frozen near zero, under solid blankets of snow.

It occurs to me, people, we’re all being stopped in our tracks! Whether by hurricanes, drought, crazy weather, wildfires, a world-wide pandemic, or our now fragile democracy crippled by disinformation and division, something’s commanding us, “Be still! and know who is God — and who isn’t!” We’d best listen up!

It's a good time to REST, REASSESS, RELINQUISH CONTROL, RECONNECT with GOD, and RENOVATE. It time to ask: Who am I — now? Where am I going? Who will go with me? What’s most important? Am I living on purpose? How am I nourishing my spiritual life?

Your spiritual life may or may not include church attendance, or even a conscious relationship with a Higher Power. It has to do with your core soul-driven values. What motivates you? What brings you joy, meaning, satisfaction? What are you willing to struggle with, hold on to, even when the going gets tough?

In stress management classes, I had people respond in a timed writing, to three questions, separately posed, allowing five minutes for each: 1). Write down all the things you hope to accomplish in your life. 2). What do you want to accomplish in the next five years? 3). If you were told you had six months to live, what then would be most important? Responses that make it to all three lists, reveal the soul-motivated priorities in a purpose-driven life.

What’s heart-breaking to see, is when what motivates you and brings joy and satisfaction’ causes destruction, harm, even starvation and death, to yourself and others. Such endeavors, regardless how seemingly "successful" and "empowering" eventually leads to remorse, misery, degradation and often severe punishment.

We’re living in very dark times. What’s been historically hidden is now being revealed, giving rise to painful disillusionment, denial, rage, division, and rebellion. Mama Nature, now in the agony of preparing to birth The New Earth, will not be stopped. The deeper the darkness, the greater the light that follows. Bishop T. D. Jakes teaches miracles often come wrapped in misery. If you’re willing to endure it, the miracle will outlast the misery. Endings are inevitably followed by new beginnings.

This January, let’s REST, REASSESS, RELINQUISH CONTROL, RECONNECT WITH GOD, and RENOVATE.

I believe God is first and foremost, a Creator. We are each, a unique piece of God. Some of us are more aware of that than others. To people who say, “I don’t believe in God. I believe in the universe,” I echo what medical intuitive, Dr. Carolyn Myss replies. “The universe doesn’t care about you. God does.”

Meanwhile, if you’re having a tough time watching what’s happening, even if you never thought you’d find yourself reading a Bible, I recommend the following passages: Psalm 37:1-12, Psalm 91, Psalm 103:1-5, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Proverbs5:15 – 18, and the entire Gospel of John.

For another adventure, let yourself secretly become as a little child and imagine your own Holy Spirit silently speaking these words as a light-hearted little poem:

This is the day I have made for you / Forget everything you thought you knew / I’ve got your hand and I’ll lead your through / To a new and expanded version of YOU!

That could begin a whole new relationship with two-way communication! Besides, it’s never too late to have a happy childhood, and/or a more creative Spiritual life. Meanwhile, God’s still on the throne. Stay in the Soul Lane and practice those 5 ‘R’s. My life-long pal, Cynthia called me New Year’s Day with this sage advice:

Don’t make any New Years’ Resolutions you can’t keep in a day!

Sallee Wade, RN, MSN has been a wellness educator and yoga instructor for over 25 years.

This article originally appeared on Galesburg Register-Mail: Columnist Sallee Wade offers responses to the New Year 2022

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