“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
What is it about a new year that makes us yearn to do things differently and, hopefully, better? Is it the sentiment of the Holidays that makes us relook at the truly important things in our lives? Is it because we often pause to reflect back on the previous year, which allows to see things we might have done differently? Or is it the simple physical presence of a new calendar — a fresh, new slate, so to speak? Whatever the reason, the start of a new year is often full of thoughts of new beginnings.
Not everything we do is a new beginning, though, because of decisions we have already made. We can, however, affect the outcome of something by simply making a choice to take a different path. Poet Carl Bard phrased it well when he said, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
Think back to a life-changing decision you made. Now think about the other options you could have chosen. Perhaps you took a job right out of school rather than going to college. Maybe you joined the military. Perhaps you debated between a 2-year and a 4-year school and chose the 4-year school. How might have the outcome been different if you had chosen a different option?
Most beginnings can take one of several paths towards completion. Sometimes, especially when things around us change, we need to change direction midstream. What things in your life are heading in the right direction? What things should be redirected down a different path? Are you content in your personal life? Happy in your professional life? If not, what changes can you make to affect the outcome?
When we get caught up in life, it is too easy to jump from one thing to another without taking time to evaluate where a particular path is leading us. Take a few minutes this New Year’s holiday to see where your paths are leading you. You may be surprised at what you see when you look ahead to one year, three years, or five years down the road. It’s never too late to change direction — we just need the foresight and the courage to do it.
Happy New Year!
In the spirit of Christmas, David Steinquist, owner of Mediascope, Inc., offers these words . . . .
The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is in full swing. For some, we are done with the crowds and packed parking lots at the mall. Maybe we even have all the gifts wrapped and tucked under the tree. For others, we are just getting started, with the resolution again playing through our heads that we won’t wait until the last minute next year. Whichever category you fit into, take a few minutes to relax and reflect. This should help to put the craziness of the season into some perspective.
The Meaning of Christmas
Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.
“What are you doing?” I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager,boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement….
“TEACH THE CHILDREN”
I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said,
“TEACH THE CHILDREN”
“Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten.”
Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a Fir Tree and placed it before the mantle.“Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man’s thoughts turning toward heaven.”
He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant Star. “Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of His fulfilled promise.”
He then reached into his bag and pulled out a Candle.“Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces darkness.”
Once again he reached into his bag and removed a Wreath and placed it on the tree. “Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.”
He then pulled from his bag an Ornament of himself. “Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”
He then brought out a Holly Leaf. “Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It representsthe crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.”
Next he pulled from his bag a Gift and said, “Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son.” Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a Candy Cane and hung it on the tree. “Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.”
He reached in again and pulled out an Angel. “Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.”
Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a Bell. “Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind into the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.”
Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, “Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our Lord, our God.”
My prayer for you all is that Christmas is filled with all the joy and gifts of our Savior. May God bless you, your families, and your friends all throughout the year.