Dec 28, 2009


2009 is almost in the history books; cast in stone. Quickly; you must decide the answer to the inevitable question that you will soon be asked. The question can come from anyone at anytime; including from within your own head. How will you answer? Do you have your answer ready? Have you sorted out the pros and cons and set the answer in stone? Have you even begun to ponder? Quickly; you will be asked and you must answer. And you only can have one answer; one side; no middle ground; those are the rules that you must abide by. And your answer must remain unchanged and affect your life from now and for all of eternity. 

The question is; “was it a good year or a bad year?” 

I must admit it is a strange question because the answer is so subjective depending upon your perspective. And yet, we ask the same question every year as we close the books on this year and anticipate the coming year. We have a strange way of making everything “black or white” and nothing in between when it comes to how we look at just about everything.  

If a sports team wins most of their games and improves how they played over last year; but loses the final game; did they have a good year or a bad year? If you made it through another year and paid all of your bills and still have some cash in your pocket, was it a good or bad year? If the old house burns down and you get another one that is better, was it a good or bad year? If your kids are noisy and ruin the carpeting as they fill the house with laugher and joy; was it a good year or a bad year? If your nine chickens only produce 5 eggs a day; was it a good year or a bad year? If you spill your second cup of coffee after spending a delightful first cup with a friend, was it a good year or a bad year?  

I’ve seen so many lives ruined and trapped because of a single event that seems to overshadow all the events that took place prior. I personally have in the past almost thrown away a whole weekend because of a wrong response; instead of realizing that one moment didn’t have to wipe it all away.  

I want to stop and state the obvious: YES, sometimes there will be events (sometimes tragedies) that will affect our lives in a radical way. And I don’t want to be insensitive to what took place in your life this past year and tell you to; “Get over it”; that would be wrong. But, I am get sad when I see lives ruined by perspective and want to suggest that sometimes a fresh perspective can help shape what is cast in stone. Albert Einstein is quoted as having said; "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."  

Perhaps we need to process this past year (as well as the next) a little differently. Simply put; you don’t have to see the bad in every situation. Learn to see the good through the eyes of a Loving God who truly does want the best for us. Look for opportunities to be thankful EACH and every day. Learn to be thankful for your old clunker that still starts every day (even if it takes 10 tries to get it started). Learn to “Seek First the Kingdom Of God and His Righteousness” (read Matthew 6:24-34).  

Learn to be grateful for leftovers; our cities are filled with people who still go to bed at night hungry. Learn to see the good in that job that you don’t like going to. After all, there are people who are laid off and would love to have a job to complain about. Learn to be grateful for the extra pounds you put on this season from eating at too many parties; be grateful that your belly is bigger from eating rather than being bloated from malnourishment. Learn to be rejoice in muscles are sore from time spent in the gym; rather than from trying maneuver your wheelchair up a ramp to get into your house. Learn to sit and linger and enjoy life; instead of always “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. 

This is a New Year; A Fresh Start; A Chance to Do It Differently. How 2010 turns out to be can be partially in your control based upon how you choose to view it.

The question one year from now will still be; “was it a good year or a bad year?”

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