The changing of years is an artificial thing. It just happens to be the day on a calendar when we reflect the fact that our planet has a 365-day cycle. For the Chinese calendar, a new year starts around our February. The Hebrew calendar rolls over in September. In our culture, the new year begins a few hours from now. No matter when it is, it's a chance to reflect and to look forward. And so that's what we do.
2012 was quite a year. It contained all the challenges I wrote about a year ago, and then some.
Just a few highlights:
- I broke my leg near my ankle in early February, my first broken bone ever. That was interesting.
- There were indeed big changes at my company. I got a new boss in the middle of the year, and our president retired in December and a new one took office.
- I took a Visiting Orphans team to Ethiopia and once again my heart was moved to continue reaching out to the children there. I made new friends as part of the trip, friends who now mean a whole bunch to me.
- My niece Haley graduated from Alabama.
- My very dear Aunt Odell passed on into the Lord's eternal care.
- I read several books that expanded my vision of what God is doing in the world and what my role should be.
- Countless experiences with family and friends, ranging from travel to just sitting around enjoying being together. Never underestimate the significance of these.
- I could go on and on (but I won't).
It's amazing how fast that went by. It really seems like only yesterday that I was in the Superdome watching the Crimson Tide win its 14th National Championship. And now that time is upon us again. Indeed, time does march on. So, as another year arrives, what do I want 2013 to look like?
First, I acknowledge that I have no clue what God holds in store. Any planning I do will be helpful, but there will also be many surprises. That said, here are a few things I want to focus on:
- I want to make sure that my focus is on relationships and not just accomplishing tasks. I want to grow in my closeness to God of course. But also I want to develop deeper relationships with my family and friends, focusing on things that matter.
- I want to pray more. I have become more and more aware that the real results in the building of God's kingdom will be accomplished by him. I am doing work that makes a difference, but neither I nor any other human (or collection of humans) can bring about his purposes in our own power. So I want to pray more.
- I want to successfully navigate the changes as my nephew and nieces progress into adulthood. I want to always be there for them, but in ways that are helpful to them and not for my own benefit.
- I want to continue to make a difference with the children of Ethiopia, and build awareness of their needs in my world. To that end, I am going back to Addis this summer. If you want to go with me, find out how in this link: Manis Team - June/July Ethiopia
- I want to be a leader at work, bringing about God's purposes through how I treat people and the quality of work I do.
That's a handful. No way I can do it on my own. So I go back to prayer. By me and for me. Thanks in advance.
2012 was a great year...here's hoping that 2013 will be even better. Regardless, there are only a few years to work in this lifetime. Let's make the most of this one.