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Okay…the year is gently crawling to an end, and what a year it has been! I could not wait for this one to end.  I used to think it has been a horrible one so far; with the stretched economy, daily run of bad news worldwide and tragedies beyond count. Definitely a year I wanted gone and forgotten.

Then came December and suddenly I began to see folks stimulated, smiling and planning for the festive holidays. I overheard conversations in public places between friends confiding in each other and talking about family members, colleagues and childhood friends with affection and love. I could see that in even the not so rosy relationships, a tad bit of endearment slips through and man’s genuine nature shines through.

With all of this, somehow I began to rethink my take about the year…yes, there has been a strain on life in general, challenges and hurdles thrown our way, but realization sneaks up on me, my eureka moment dawns…aha! I survived this one! But why did I only see the negative?

I began to recall and reminisce on all that did turn out right, like the many trips to the doctors and a few to the hospital too. None ended in disaster. In fact, it all turned out great! Illnesses were overcome, injuries healed, infections controlled.  Even a baby or two came home in the aftermath of some of those hospital visits. If I lost anything, I see that all I lost was money…money I worked so hard for only to spend when occasions like these came up. I laugh at my foolishness and my heart is instantly warmed and gladdened as I bow in awe to an amazing grace.

Such are the days of all of our lives folks! We live only seeing the negative that we forget the thorough awesomeness of the Father; the one who sees far ahead of life and gives us the wisdom and grace to make right choices and decisions, when faced with difficulties and adversities. Many times we fail to reach these solutions on our own, but through the brotherhood of life, we eventually do.

This brotherhood is made up of all those we encounter on our way, some negative, some positive but in all, a connective force that eventually guides us to the closure we seek. All things always do work out for good to the betterment of our lives and future, depending on what angle we choose to look from.

So I began to take stock of the many days of fun and children’s laughter. I recall departed loved ones and the sorrow of grief and grieving, some of ours, some of friends and colleagues. I recall the many birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and celebrations. I also recall the separations, divorces and going of different ways. Some did leave emptiness which the year slowly eased out, and others literally saved lives and renewed hope. All these are gifts and memories of this ending year.

So I pause…well this has not been a bad one after all. I now see those things I did not see before and I begin to miss this year. The good imagery in my head brings a smile and I’m no longer eager to push this year behind me. As with everything in life, time brings all forward regardless of our personal take. This year will eventually slip away, making room for the new one. I look forward to embracing it when it arrives. I will work very hard to remain calm and focused, drawing strength from the concluding one and hope that my resolve will remain strong.

I have done this for so long now, surely I should be a master at this game by now huh? Heck, we should all be masters of this game by now. That’s exactly the beauty of life, it’s this element of surprise it has over us. The ability to react appropriately to these surprises is what will determine the sort of players we will become this New Year.

Personally I wish that we all remember that he gives us all a full deck no matter what, the most important thing is that we get to play at all.

So here’s to wishing you all a heart filled of hope and belief for the coming year….it’s only as good as we are willing to let it be.