Another year has passed. I am removing calendars of 2018 and have the prettiest new 2019 calendar to hang in its place; one entitled sunsets with the loveliest photos ever. Birthdays and anniversaries will soon be all added, as well as appointments that are scheduled.
How were your holidays this year? Hopefully you enjoyed family and friends, holiday traditions and decorations, and good food. And now the task of putting them all away for another year – or if you are really “with it”, they are already packed away for another year. Mine are not. The tree box (cardboard) was left outside and received a 30” layer of snow on it. Today it is inside, drying out, and I am hoping to be able to fit the tree back in it. We really like the tree and the box – perfect fit! I have gathered other items together, and plan a trip to WalMart for a plastic tub to store them.
Due to a Total Knee Replacement surgery mid-November, the painful recovery process and tottering around the house taking care of Ron, fixing meals and endeavoring to clean some, I have been out straight. I say this, because Christmas Cards usually sent have not been, and I am sorry to those who usually receive them and did not this year.
I sit here in my favorite chair (yes, with my leg up) and I have wishes for the new year, and resolutions too, of course. Ron and I have wishes that we could still be “on the road” teaching seminars and being much more active in ministry than sending out ordered product and doing some counseling. We miss our “old bus” that was so nicely converted into our home for about 12 years! We miss visiting with folk whose churches we went to on a regular basis. We miss all of you who have sat through seminars, who have written to thank us after having attended a recovery process; we miss the staff with whom we worked (not that we were in the office often) at Faith For Today. We miss Jim and Ellen, Vic and Chana with whom we worked after retiring from Faith For Today, and we GREATLY miss teaching. We miss watching the eyes of understanding being lit on the faces of our audiences. We had planned to work until at least age 80, but in 2008 those active years were abruptly curtailed. Do we understand? Do we know the reason(s) why this happened to us? Not at all. But joyfully, we still are thrilled that folk want our products and that they order them from the website. Since “retirement” we have written several books and workbooks to accompany each of them. They are great for book clubs and small groups for churches or organizations, and have been well received.
So 2019 is upon us – another year for personal growth. Our President keeps begging congress for money they already appropriated back when Obama was President, to build a fence across our border. I remember an old statement that went something like “fences make good neighbors.” I believe that it is true regarding our country’s need for a very long one. I also believe that while we strive for a fence in 2019 across our country, we should commit to repair the fences that we erect between ourselves and others. Those fences are usually built when we are angry because we don’t get our own way or because we feel that someone has done us wrong. Let me ask: what good does that “fence” do you? Does it make you happier? Does it solve a problem you have experienced between you and someone else? Wouldn’t it have been wiser to sit for a gentle and kind conversation with that person? Wouldn’t it have been better to say “let’s talk about something that concerns me” rather than just build a barrier to keep others out?
The Good Book tells us that Jesus suggests that He wants to reason with us, and that just might be a great idea! Of course, if there is someone in your life with whom you have made this attempt, and they ignore you or they just don’t want to “Play,” it is wise to realize that “one cannot reason with unreasonableness.” When dealing with someone who is unreasonable, you are just wasting your time to keep trying over and over again! In the past, we have been accused and derided, and no amount of attempted intervention got us anywhere. So, as the “Word” would say, “Just wipe the dust off your feet and move on.” How well I remember having difficulty going to sleep because going over and over in my head, was the chasm in a relationship which I longed to build a bridge over. Experiences such as this, can make one ill, and I recall feeling sick! It was through repeated prayer that I recognized that God’s Word was speaking to me, and I let the chasm be minus a bridge.
So what are we saying by this? Consider making 2019 a year for at least attempting to build bridges, instead of fences. Let the news about the country’s needed fence remind you each time you hear about it, to make this year one for building bridges where once there was a fence or a chasm.
May 2019 be one of the best years ever in your life, is our Prayer!
Ron and Nancy