Monday, December 24, 2012

Making a List and Checking it Twice

This morning I woke up and read a piece that inspired me. That doesn’t happen often. It was written by a longtime friend and fellow Ellison Eagle. I had reconnected with this person about three years ago. Having been somewhat close to this person in high school, we quickly redeveloped a rapport and caught each other up on the last twenty years or so. In 2009, we both had our share of challenges and problems we were dealing with. That was then. And this is now. As I told her this morning (paraphrasing): “I remember when you were THERE. Now you are HERE. You have come a LONG way.” This is what inspired me to write. Typically, this might be an “end of year” piece. It might have been a “New Year’s Resolution” piece. Then, I thought to myself: “Why wait?!” 2012 has definitely had its share of ups and downs. I have dealt with physical ailments never experienced before, yet my job has taken off in a good way. There has been the joy of watching my son progress through his first year in life, and the difficulty of watching one of the most self assured eleven year olds’ cope with bullying. I never could have predicted THAT. As there is every year, there have been moral and spiritual failures and triumphs. There have been apologies made and apologies accepted. There have even been new friends made and friends lost. You get the picture – regrets and triumphs. Last year I kept it simple. I had one New Years’ resolution. That was to take the stairs up to the fourth floor every time at work. I did better than I expected. I made it through the first quarter of 2012 before that one got tossed aside. Starting RIGHT NOW, I’m going B I G ! Why wait till next year or even tomorrow? A couple of sayings come to mind: “Go big or go home.” How about: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Being Christmas Eve, what better day could there possibly be to start anew? On today’s agenda there is work, then there will be church, a family get-together, and “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Alexis. And what a wonderful life it is. No matter where we have gone astray, we can go to HIM and ask for forgiveness. HE will have us repent and absolve us of our sins. Some of those who read this may ask themselves “Where do I even begin? I have so many problems, issues, and things to work on.” And I say to you, SO DO I.” It’s a big tent and we’re ALL in it. I think WE start with asking for forgiveness – from our friends, our family, but most importantly our G O D. Here, I will humbly suggest some things to get US started: After asking for forgiveness, forgive others who have hurt you. L-E-T I-T G-O. You will feel better instantaneously. When we withhold forgiveness, we punish ourselves more than anyone else. Try and live in the here and now as much as possible. How often do you find yourself doing one thing, but thinking about another? By doing this, I am missing precious moments with my kids, my wife, my friends and my family. Isaiah 58: 1-4 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” STARTING NOW: “Live without fear!” A close friend pointed this out to me as a goal this person was pursuing. How awesome would that be?! Phil. 4:6, 7 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Friends and family, there is so much to be thankful for and yet, so many challenges in front of us. Why wait??? I’ll bet this is exactly what my friend said to herself back in 2009 and now she is living the dream! Finally, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to every single one of you! KV 12/24/12

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