Pastor’s Perspective 12-30-19

I write this perspective as we all prepare to replace our 2019 calendars with a 2020 calendar. I’ve said many times before that there is nothing magical about a new year. It’s just another day with a different date. But it does provide an opportunity to reflect on the events of the past year and anticipate what the New Year might bring. If we’re really serious, we can even be more intentional about shaping our future. We’d all be better off if we did.

For some reason, the 1993 movie Groundhog Day came to mind early this morning. Bill Murray plays a weather man who isn’t happy about having to cover a story – for the fourth year in a row – about a “rat” (groundhog) forecasting the weather. When he wakes up the next day, he discovers it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. Initially, he uses his “experience” from the day before to his advantage, but eventually realizes he is doomed to spend the rest of his life in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing every day.  I’m not creative enough to come up with a movie like that. And as entertaining as it was, it doesn’t even remotely depict real life. Time never stands still. It marches on. Life changes all too quickly. And not often as we expect.

Over the years, I’ve had folks wish me a Healthy and a Happy New Year. Given how quickly one’s health can change, and how much we take our good health for granted, I can appreciate their sincere wishes. I’ve come to realize, however, that a healthy life is more than the absence of sickness or physical challenges. It’s also about choices. I’m looking for a healthier pace in 2020. I think too many of us run at a pace that is not sustainable… or healthy. I need a healthier balance in my life… between work, family and rest. When work is also ministry, it is too easy to let “ministry” trump the other two. I want healthy priorities in 2020. Not everything we do is of equal importance. I want my life to count for eternity. Those priorities all involve investments in people, not things. And I need a healthier perspective sometimes. I think too many of us focus too much on the past or the future… at the expense of the present. There is wisdom in living one day at a time – seeing each day of life as the gift from God that it is. I wish for all of you a Healthy and a Happy New Year!

See you Sunday! ~ John