As we start a New Year of 2024, I wonder what this new year will bring. Two things immediately spring to mind. It will be a Leap Year so there will be a 29th February. It used to be thought of as a day when women could propose, it was sometimes called Bachelor’s Day or Ladies’ Privilege. It dates back to Ireland in the 5th century to Saint Patrick and Saint Bridget. Apparently, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick that women could propose because women had to wait too long for marriage as the men were too slow to propose. St Patrick offered one day every seven years. St Bridget negotiated one day every four years. There is some irony that the men were dragging their feet over the opportunity for women to propose! There is allegedly a final twist to the story, that St Bridget then proposed to St Patrick who turned her down with a kiss and a silk dress. It seems that relationships were just as difficult 1500 years ago as they are now. The second is that it is an Olympic Year, it is right next door to us in Paris, France at the end of July and beginning of August followed by the Para Olympic games at the end of August and beginning of September. It is slightly unusual that there have only been three years between the Olympics because Tokyo 2020 took place in 2021 after being postponed due to COVID-19.
The New Year allows us to put the past year behind us to move into the new future. How we will do in the coming year very often depends on our expectations and plans. It is clear without any ambition, it is unlikely that we will achieve very much. It is only through hard work in making plans and seeing them through that we change anything. It would be unimaginable to leave the Olympics to sort themselves out without organization and hard work. We hope that we can celebrate these events as we see the hard work and effort come together with successful and happy events.
What is interesting to me is that our relationship with God is always waiting for us to accept an invitation to take part. We are told that when we do accept God’s invitation there is always a celebration in heaven. It is hard to imagine that God has a plan for us and needs us to help others around us. It is both exciting to be included and a little daunting to be part of God’s plan for the people we find around us. I always find so much more about God around me if I just have the eyes to see it and the hands to help in God’s plans. What will you make of this coming New Year?