Padre’s Corner: A daily reset

By Padre Lt(N) Stephen Cogswell,
Aumônier, 12e Escadre Shearwater

As human beings, we tend to function best in rhythms. Winter followed by spring, followed by summer, then autumn and back into winter. Repeat.

We measure time, years, and certainly our lives through these patterns. It’s how we keep every day from feeling like Groundhog Day. We also tend to look to these rhythms as natural opportunities to reset season-by-season. For instance, “That was a tough winter, but once spring comes I’m going to do this _____ differently…” For creatures of cadence such as we are, this makes sense enough.

The same seems to be true as it relates to the years of our lives. We’re fresh into a new year and if you’re like me, you’ve probably heard more chatter of shaking-off a preceding year than ever before. It’s like a majority of people can’t wait to toss their 2020 calendars in the bin. Without a doubt, it was a year fraught with its own difficulties and unique challenges, making a system-wide reset a welcome notion.

The reality is that rhythms, routines and regularities are good for us, but we don’t need a new year for a reset or restart. Instead, I’ve personally found it helpful to recognize that any day, any time, is a great time for a do-over or a new start. There are some ancient words from the scriptures that address this idea of newness as we consider our lives:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23

You may not consider yourself a very religious person – many don’t – and that’s entirely okay. But I think most of us could benefit from this biblical notion of a fresh start each morning; not just at a prescribed date or season. So, don’t sweat the list of resolutions, intricate strategies, and lofty goals just now. Instead, see each new day as a gift and an opportunity, a fresh start as we forge ahead into this new year together with a sense of optimism and hope.