“I say there is no darkness but ignorance.” (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night).
As Twelfth Night is upon us, as we prepare for the Epiphany and the ‘coming’ of the Wise Men, it is good to consider wisdom as an antidote to ignorance.
Traditionally, on Twelfth Night one put away their Christmas tree – or risk bad luck for the rest of the year.
Twelfth Night and remembering the Magi seem to me to be good moments to pause. Gone is the flurry of Christmas, the festivity of New Years, the lazy hedonism of early January in summer (or winter, if you do not live in the Southern hemisphere!). Often we are back at work, dusting off our goals and plans for 2018.
Twelfth Night affords us time to reflect on these goals and dreams. What is it, really, that we want 2018 to bring? And how will that look, in our every day lives?
I like to think in terms of ‘more of‘ and ‘less of‘.
Things I want to do more of, and things I want to do less of.
No pressure but wisdom drawn from reflecting on the year that was, and life thus far. As Pope John Paul II noted: ‘Who does not feel the need for a “star” to guide him on his earthly journey? Individuals and nations both feel the need’.
We look for the star, the wisdom to make right choices in our life in this new year.
The wisdom highlights virtue and reflection. Taking time each week to reflect in faith, and hope, and love. What is it that I want to do more of? What is it that I want to do less of?
And writing these down or noting them in an app or on your phone. Though writing down such goals has been shown to be most effective.
Followed by reflection. What can I do this week to make this more of and less of a reality? How did it go last week? What are the hihglights of the week, the things I am grateful for, and what will that look like next week?
Stephen Covey called this sharpening the saw. Whether it is undertaken on a weekly or fortnightly or quarterly basis, Twelfth Night is a good time to begin.
To take a step with reflection. That way lies wisdom. Who knows where, in the end, this step to reflect may take you in 2018?
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” (The Lord of the Rings)