For the past twenty-three years, I have joined a group of friends in welcoming the New Year in a special place, the labyrinth at Church of the Servant (Episcopal) in Wilmington. This labyrinth, which is created in the Chartres form, is etched into the floor of the sanctuary. The church has provided this labyrinth as a setting for prayer and meditation every month and welcomes people to quietly usher in the new year in a beautiful setting. The lights are dimmed. Candlelight and colored Christmas lights provide most of the light, and the polished floor looks like a black river glistening in its ancient pattern.

Every year at New Year’s Eve, I bring a question—something that has been troubling me— and I unburden myself as I proceed along the winding path to the center. Then I sit quietly, breathing deeply and relaxing, listening with my inner ear and open heart.

I have been worrying and fretting for months about my upcoming knee surgery and its outcomes. I have planned, thought, planned more, problem solved, lost sleep, and made more lists than I care to admit. The pain was really darkening my mood, and even I did not like being around me! I was worried about what would happen after surgery- would I be relieved of the pain I was experiencing? Would I be less disabled or perhaps more so? Would I need more assistance to live as independently as I could? Would I return to an active lifestyle? All these thoughts and more churned through me until I reached the center.

The answer came swiftly. “You are worrying about things that are not in your control. You are not in charge of this. What you are is “afraid”. And that is understandable. You must focus on “trust”. And then a gospel song came to me—it says, “I can’t believe he brought me this far just to leave me”. God has been there for me consistently. Sometimes I did not “get it” until later, but God has always brought me through to a better place. Trust. Trust. Trust.

Since that night I have regained calm in my soul. I’m enjoying being around me again and I think others are too.

Prayer: Thank you God for reminding me that You are in charge. Please forgive me for forgetting that. Amen.