Maybe this year will be better than the last?

“…it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last. I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself, to hold on to these moments as they pass…”

Gazing out the windows of my office, it’s a bitter cold gray day as I type these words. Phrases flowing from consonant and vowel, and the soft click-clack of the keyboard in rhythm with the gentle rain upon the windows.

Meandering in thought during this luncheon hour, I let my mind drift backwards in time and think upon the span of months, days, and hours of this dying year of our Lord 2010.

So much has occurred, some good and some bad, that any attempt to encapsulate it seems futile. For me to say something like “2010 was a pretty good year,” is to state that the universe is rather large. Not so much a matter of understatement as it is an utter simplification.

I am in awe of what has transpired in these last 365 days, of what my Lord has done with me, for me, and to me.

There have been low points, sure, and many failures… frightening moments that forced me to my knees in supplication for His refuge, disappointments and opportunities that did not come to fruition, late nights of bewilderment, and dark days of despair.

Yet, as I count my blessings, I find many more high points…  achievements personal and professional, accolades from my peers, benchmarks of growth, satisfaction and contentment, many joys and anticipation, continued blessing beyond expectation and great hope for days still to come.

I can look back over the last twelve months and take full measure of what I have learned, looking out at what yet remains ahead of me.

With the dawning of the first December morning, I began hearkening back to the December prior… of 2009, and the twelve months since. December itself has been full of many sublime joys and aching sorrows, that it could almost stand as a crude thumbnail sketch for the year entire.

Now I stand upon the passage of this month, and with it another year. Yes, it has been a long December.

I am 34 years old, in the midst of my 11th year of a marriage that has produced two daughters and two sons. My family is a strong one, and our household is filled with love.

I am a friend to my neighbors and an active member of my community. I have a personal conviction to improve the way of life for those within my meager sphere of influence, striving to be a man of conscience before a watching world.

I am an award-winning journalist for a newspaper in a rural town in East Texas, whose articles and photographs have been published nationally and whose weekly columns have been syndicated regionally.

I am an ordained minister in the Christian faith who has baptized believers, performed marriages, and officiated funerals. I am a teacher and mentor to no less than 20 young people who seek my counsel and instruction on a regular basis.

I am a servant of the Most High, purchased at a dear price. I have preached the Gospel and led worship. I have broken the bread and poured the cup. I have defended the Gospel against its doubters and rebuked unclean minions.

“…thus stand I on the brink of this New Year, darkness upon me though not the work of fear. Powerless, I know to war against the current’s sweep, powerful, alone, my own Soul’s truth to keep…”

A whole new span of time spreads itself out before me, ripe with possibility and ambitions.

Many words, to be written and spoken. Much still to do. Much promise yet to keep.

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