Okay. I know I’m a guy and I’m not supposed to admit this kind of stuff to my buddies, but here goes…I’m a wimp. I tend to lean towards sentimentality and expend way too much time and energy reflecting on the past.
I know. I’m a wuss.
But seriously, aren’t you supposed to do that at the start of the New Year? I sure hope so, because that’s exactly what I do each and every January 1st. Just ask my family.
The full-on attack of melancholy usually doesn’t hit until my wife, Amy, and I take down the Christmas tree. It always happens the same way, though. I go all internal and quietly reflect on the passage of time as we box up the skads of ornaments and decorations that we’ve collected over our thirty Christmases together. Each box filled with tacky little department store glass bulbs and countless handmade ornaments that have taken on a personal aura of nostalgic reverence.
My heart gets especially tugged by the ornaments with dates on them like, “1981 – First Christmas Together”, “1985 – Baby’s First Christmas”, “1990 – Katie’s 1st Christmas”, etc. You know what I mean? They’re all just little reminders, place holders of another Christmas (and another year) gone by.
Another year gone by.
That year gone by only points to one other thing: Another New Year ahead…and the unknown. A page yet to be written in that nebulous and (sometimes) frightening place we call the future.
And this is where I always land every year—standing amongst all the tinsel and garland and pine needles: “What does the future hold?”
God only knows.
2011 saw huge changes at Flatirons—starting with the move across the street and into the new building. To sum it all up, the best thing I heard about the move came from someone on the Flatirons Facebook page over opening weekend. A simple posting that read: “Same church. Different address.” Perfect.
And no one saw this coming as 2011 began…
Saying goodbye to our dear friend Ron Atchley—who died on Friday, September 16th. Ron was a Flatirons personified. He was faulted, and broken, and loved Jesus and other people more than he loved himself…and it showed. Calling Ron Atchley a “Super Volunteer” is like calling Long’s Peak a hill.
The other highs and lows from last year are too numerous to mention, but suffice to say, experienced equally by all. Marriages. Divorces. Births. Deaths. Hirings. Firings. Each one, deeply personal, and yet, common fair for anyone in any given workplace.
So here we are. January 2012. I’m sure the New Year will see its’ share of births celebrated and friends and family mourned…of fortunes gained and bankruptcies filed…of couples united and marriages divided in court. Which is why (especially at this time of year) I like to reflect on this passage from Jeremiah 29. God makes a wonderful promise here when He says…
“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
That was a promise made over 2,500 New Years ago…and it’s a promise we can cling to today…no matter what happens in 2012…good or bad…God has a plan to make things better.
I hope and pray your 2012 is a wonderful year…filled with prosperity and hope and faith in the only One who holds our future.
Happy New Year!