Another beginning to a New Year…
Most people I know sit down this time of year and look ahead, setting new goals and dreams for the New Year. I like to do that, too, but before tackling the future, I tend to look back and ask myself, “What did I learn last year?” and, “What would I do differently if I could live last year over?” Answering those two questions sets me up to look at the future.
Having asked those questions of myself for more years than I would like to admit—it is truly amazing how fast the years fly by—I’ve learned a few things and even noticed a pattern in my answers. First, I have learned unequivocally that there are no do overs. Bummer indeed. And second, I have learned what is most valuable in life and how some things that I thought were important, really weren’t very important at all.
Oh I remember with remorse the years of working, working, working to meet those all-important quarterly production numbers…at the expense of family-time memories. Yes, I learned the hard way that lasting memories of that family camping trip to the lake are more important than the totally forgettable number of widgets that were made that quarter.
It probably took me longer than it would have for most, but I finally began to understand what my father tried to explain to me when I was young: God first, family second, and serving others third. And those advertisements that tell you to take care of yourself first are just trying to sell you something.
So what are my goals for 2018? Well, I plan to thank God more. (Did you know that the Bible says that God loves to be thanked for the blessings He gives us?) I plan to spend a little less time at the office and a little more time at home with the family. And lastly, with my remaining time, I plan to work my tail off to help get those struggling with indecent, unaffordable rental housing into stable, wonderful, life-changing homes of their own.
“Thank you, Father, for giving us the opportunity to help those in need. Thank you for the wonderful people of Bend that so readily give their time, money and prayers to help their neighbors. And thank you for a new year to love You, love our families and love others. Amen”