Musings and Reflections for a New Year

I am 60 years old. Not yet old but old-ish. Certainly not young. And I have seen some things on my journey. Most good. Some great. Some horrific.

I have seen people die suddenly, people die slowly and dying people decide they wanted to live longer still. I have seen relationships forged, love promised and marriages blown apart. I have seen people accomplish great things and lose it all, only to unravel into a happier life than they had before and I have seen people destroyed by the same circumstances. I have made friends and became cross threaded with friends and made some friends for life. I have seen mended hearts broken, broken hearts mended and broken hearts that refuse to mend. I have walked away from institutions and people and had institutions and people walk away from me.

I have discovered that control is an illusion. We can minimize risk, but we cannot eradicate it. Too many variables. Sometimes we get worse than we deserve and sometime we get better.

As I pause and take stock in what I have learned about life and living in 2022, I come back to four basic things:

1) Choose to love
2) Choose to be happy
3) Choose to forgive
4) Choose faith

I truly wish this world were not fallen. I wish people didn’t get sick or old. I wish all stories ended happily ever, all dreams came true, the people we loved didn’t die and all children grew up nurtured, happy and healthy. But that is the next world; not our own.

It gets tough down here. And some days it seems tougher than we can bear. But we bear it and we press on.

It is also great down here. And some days are unimaginably sublime. So we treasure them and sip them slowly.

As we begin a new year, we are faced with a simple choice; we can love, be happy, forgive and have some faith or we can hate and be miserable, bitter and hopeless. It is our call.

It seems wrong that you should have to fight for the good stuff in life but just because something must be fought for, does not mean it is unobtainable. Even in a fallen world.

And choosing to fight for the good in life is really the only thing within our control.

At 60, life seems shorter than it once did but life is good. Really good. You don’t fall into a good life; you choose it. Every single day.

I am blessed.

So are you.

Beyond measure.

Be Happy.

Peace dear friends…good things lie ahead.

-Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL since 1997.

Published by Rev. Shane L. Bishop

Senior Pastor of Christ Church, Fairview Heights, IL since 1997. I am an orthodox Christian but I am not in a bad mood about it.

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