“Lord, what times are these?”*
Well, 2021 may have been a terrible year in the political/economic/cultural sense (although we are not supposed to say that), but for me, several things of note took place:
- I retired from my flyover university.
- We celebrated the 200th anniversary of the state of Missouri and the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail.
- I finally (after 65 years) left the moribund Episcopal Church and found a new church home.
Numbers 1 and 3 represented Big Steps, opening new chapters, etc. All three involved celebrating. Yippee kayaks!
Now we embark on a new year. I am not optimistic in the political/economic/cultural sense, but I know there will be rejoicing and, indeed, much joy to be chosen.
So as you reflect on the new year and start setting goals, consider this. And keep in mind that “We are not able to become our best selves on our own. Our best life comes in complete dependence on the God who made us. Yet we still try. Self-reflection is helpful and plans for personal improvement can be beneficial, but this can also lead to more striving, specifically when we resolve in our own strength.”
For me, I am resolved to devote more time to my Bible reading, to resist sin and cultivate righteousness, to continue to put my house in order, to simplify.
And I plan to celebrate on a regular basis.
What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish–His purpose is the process itself.
–Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
And P.S. We did have a super fun Christmas and a super fun visit from daughter #2 and Katiebelle. Here are a few postcards from our holly jolly holiday (we really didn’t take a lot of pictures!)
Happy New Year, friends! Keep a-goin!
*Polycarp (AD 69 – 155)