New Year’s musing: May the Father make your path smooth


New Year’s Day is looking back, remembering, giving thanks and looking forward. We can live forward with confidence because the Father who has carried us through joy and tears until today, is not going to just put us down now and tell us to just see and be done.

Eighty years ago, my mother was still carrying me, while I was artistically woven together in her womb. Some time after that I witnessed the first light of life and since then the Father carries me day after day in the hollow of his hands.

My thoughts are going far this morning because 80 years is a long way. And when I rest along the road under the shade trees and scoop cool water at the fountains with my cupped hand, I always find Dad and Mom there. As if they were sitting there waiting for me.

At birth, Mother gave us back to the Lord for safe keeping. At mother’s knee we learned to pray and she taught us what is right and wrong. She was a prayer warrior and her knees and elbows were calluses. She prayed kneeling all her life. In the early morning, while she was praying out loud, I heard her calling my name. Her prayers that she prayed then carry me to this day.

Blissful contemplation.

My father was not a man of many words, but he always sang spiritual songs. Just like that in the course and while he supervised the work force. He never owned a horse and then, on the way to the fields with the workers, he walked and sang.

The workers learned the tunes and while they were planting, hoeing or picking, they hummed the tunes. They changed the rhythm just a little to adapt to the work actions. To the tune of “Op berge en in dale” they hoe and got their hard work done with treats.

My New Year’s musing revolves around Dad. What a blissful experience and it feels like it was half a century ago. I hear him sing when we “booked” every night and tonight on New Year’s Eve, I sing along gratefully.

To You, O God, my thanksgiving songs – I want to praise You in my evening song,

though the sunlight fades on the slopes, your light, my light will rise higher.

You have satisfied me with your favor and protect me as a Father. With blessings so generous, You have mercy on me day and night.

On New Year’s Eve I continue to sing along:

I know to whom I have entrusted myself, even though day and night alternate;

I know the Rock on whom I have built, from whom I expect all my salvation.

Once at the end of my life, I will be free from care and trouble.

For each day I here given, Thy higher, purer hymn dedicate.

Another blissful New Year’s reverie.

Now we don’t just want to wish you a prosperous new year. More than that: We wish you an Emmanuel year. If God is with us, who can be against us? If He holds us in His hand, who can pluck us out of His hand?

May the Father make your paths straight. May every dawn let the light break through for you and every sunset bring you rest and peace.