New Year

Two cartoons come to mind as we face the new year. One depicts a group of little fuzzy yellow ducklings walking through tall grass with their necks stuck out above it. The caption reads, “Go forth and conquer.” Even if the condition of the ducklings seem to represent you, courage like they depict can make you a conqueror.

The other is a poster picturing a caterpillar looking of his cocoon at a beautiful butterfly flying overhead. The caption, “You can fly, but that cocoon has got to go.”

The dawning of a new year often makes us aware of some things that have “got to go.” It is a grand time to shed some old things in our life that keep us from being our best.

This new year places at your disposal 8,756 hours. If you are average you will sleep 2,920 of them. That leaves you 5,836 hours in which achieve your best and obtain your hearts desire.

Don’t be like the goof who used this logic.
You work one third of a day, 8 hours; that totals 122 days a year.
There are 52 Sundays a year; that leaves 70 work days.
There are 52 Saturdays a year; that leaves 18 work days a year.
You get two weeks, 14 days, vacation. That leaves only 4 work days a year.
The average worker takes 3 days sick leave; that leaves 1 work day a year.
That is not a fuzzy duckling mentality.

There is so much uncertainty in our world that venturing into a new year is a precarious challenge. At a time even more daunting than this King George VI of England, facing the approaching dark hours of World War II, quoted Minnie Louise Haskins in his 1939 Christmas broadcast to the Empire.

“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ He replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than the light and safer than a known way.’”

Though often lamentably overlooked there is a spiritual dimension to life. When it is properly figured into the equation of life a new perspective is gained. It affords assurance we are not in this life alone. There is a spiritual resource as Haskins noted.

Twelve months ago another new year was set before us. It has rolled into eternity carrying with it broken hearts, shattered dreams, personal losses, and unanticipated anguish. Though it is as much history as 1776, it has also archived accomplishments, achievements, joys, successes, and dreams fulfilled. Don’t be so overcome by the former list of negatives you fail to reflect on the positive ones.

Accept the council of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who advised, “Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart.”

Make that the heart of a fuzzy little yellow duckling.

With your hand on the doorknob of a new year you can enter the maze of days with boldness. The strength needed is not something, but Someone.

That can result in what I wish for you a – – – – HAPPY NEW YEAR