4 minute read


River Jordan is The Power of Story….

Happy New Year

Here we go blazing into a New Year. Ready or not. Inspired or tired. The calendar page turns and finds us walking out the days of our lives. We could say it’s no big deal. Just another day, another hour, a colorless change. A number of no significance. But I for one have never felt that way. Just as Easter holds the hope of resurrection and embodies Spring, the turning of the calendar to the first, crisp day of a new year. That long clean slate feels like I am standing on a mountain looking at the view far off over the mountains, down a hundred roads, out to a horizon that defies me with its majesty of mystery.

No matter what I plan, no matter my life’s goals or interruptions, the most amazing thing is that the mystery of time itself, of the unfolding days, the people we may meet, the old friends we purpose to see – all of it will be precious in some way but the thing we can certainly count on is that there will be surprises. Something for which I have not always been thankful. The surprise of a flat tire, a leaking roof, a sick child.

News on the Homefront or foreign lands that are not made up of the surprises we would like but the opposite. They carry worry and bad tidings.

Here’s a tiny calming note regarding those surprises’ unknown to us on this New Year Day – whatever comes, whatever happens – we still have each other.

There will still be the surprise of kindnesses unexpected. The ones that come along at unexpected places, in unexpected notes.

Kind words from family and friends and the ones that always bring tears to my eyes - that kindness from a stranger in the middle of a moment where it looks like no help or hope is around the corner.

I can’t always be someone’s help but I can purpose in my heart this year to be willing to participate in the great, divine, dance of being human in a world that needs more people tapping into that place that makes us great.

Do I have a list longer than my leg of things I want to achieve this year? Yes. Travels abroad and at home. Languages to learn. Books to write. Memories to make. But if there is just one special resolution I could make that would not focus on me but on other people it would be to lay my hand on my heart and in a peaceful moment agree to be present in my life in all the small, mundane moments where I am walking through my days, where pausing and saying one kind word to a stranger could make a difference in their day.

One compliment. One dollar. One helping hand.

Because here’s the thing – we are all part of an ever evolving, changing story that is being written every day of our lives and our stories are connected to every human being that passes us on the street, in a car, a shop, the Waffle House.

We are part of the great cacophony of human existence, a veritable orchestra of humanity and if we pull, way, way, way back and look at this precious planet it’s plain to see our problems are smaller than we imagine, our hearts are so much larger than we know, and we have the capacity to love great things, new things into being.

May we all fully embrace the divinity of this miracle of our very, existence in 2023 and celebrate our moments together.

River Jordan is an author, speaker, teacher and radio host. As a southerner with a global perspective she is a passionate advocate for the power of story. River's writing career began as a playwright and she spent over ten years writing and directing. She is the best-selling author of four novels and a three spiritual memoirs. As a critically-acclaimed author her work has been most frequently cast in the company of such writers as Flannery O'Conner, William Faulkner, and Harper Lee.