Happy 2023!

Happy New Year to my faithful readers!

What does your 2023 look like? We are just 2 days in and it is too early to tell. I echo many who hope this year is better than last year. The last few months of 2022 was rough for all. Some of you might have lost a job or worked under the threat of losing your job. So many things were out of our control; it was someone else who made the decision to cancel my position. It was someone else who hit my car. It was someone else who sets the gas prices nationwide.

Yesterday morning, I was listening to Pastor Dave Rolph who was preaching from Ecclesiastes 3. One thing that Pastor Dave said was that it could be possible that if 2022 was bad, 2023 could be even worse no matter how much we want it to be better. That doesn’t sound very encouraging, but to quote Captain Pete Mitchell (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun: Maverick – “Just wanted to manage expectations.”

But back to Ecclesiastes: there is so much wisdom:

There is a time for everything,
     and a season for every activity under the heaven
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Some of you might even remember this song:

I have family and friends who are getting married in 2023 – a time of joy, but I would not be surprised later this year if other family and friends tell me that their loved ones passed away in 2023 – a time of weeping and mourning. That’s life.

One realization I had: for many who want to get their health under control (losing weight, start running, etc.), that is a very laudable goal. Others want to start their own side gigs or even their own business; that too is a good goal. Others might want to start writing their own novel for eventual publication.

But how many of us have resolved to work on our character? Christians might interpret that to mean sinning less, losing our tempers less, or reading the Bible more. There is much more to that. It is a fundamental shift in how we act, how we think, how we feel. Working on our character is more than the externals; it is internal healing and transformation. If you want to make 2023 a good year, start with that resolution. When December 2023 come up, you’ll be a changed man for the better.


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