The climate of silence gives clear meaning to the long shadows cast by the events of the year so recently passed: The high resolves with which we began it; the stumbling, faltering ways by which we ended it … The narrow escapes from violence, within, without … The high moments which in themselves seemed to contain all the goodness, beauty, and completeness of life … Those hours of sadness and weeping when there was taken from our midst someone whose life was deeply entwined with our own – since the leave-taking the way was hard, difficult, with no bond to heal the ruptured life, the broken heart …
We do not quite know how to face the New Year, but face it we must. We do not know, our Father, nor do we wish to know what there is in store for us tomorrow. As we share the intimacy of this moment, quiet our spirits with Thy great calm that we may not be afraid, that we may be sustained whatever betides. This is not our only option, Father, we be seize upon it, as it were – we do it with enthusiasm and with hope. Desert us not to the despairing grasp of what may be our futilities, God of our spirits.
From “The Centering Moment,” by Howard Thurman, Friends United Press, Richmond, IN, 1980. Originally published: New York: Harper & Row, 1969. Copyright 1969 by Howard Thurman
Dr. Howard Thurman was a poet, mystic, philosopher, theologian, the first dean of Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Howard University; co-founder of The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, San Francisco; Dean of Marshall Chapel, Boston University; and Chairman of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust.