Tuesday, January 01, 2019

What Do We Want in 2019? by Eleanor Shepherd

         Here we are on the morning of the first day of the first month of a brand new year.  To me it always feels like a chance to start over again. We can put behind us many of the mistakes and missed opportunities of 2018 and begin again in some senses with a clean slate. I think that is why so often people use this time of year to take stock of where they are and where they have been, review some of their goals and make new resolutions and plans to change the things they need to change in their lives. 

            This often means asking ourselves some tough questions. What are my hopes and expectations for this year, 2019? What do I want it to look like? What are my dreams and aspirations for this year? For those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus, our desires spring from our relationship with Him and we want that all those we meet will discover the depth of His love for them. We want to do the things that we need to be to see that His Kingdom of love and grace is established on earth, to make this world a better place for all its inhabitants and to prepare us for the opportunity to live together in peace and harmony forever in Heaven. In this our dreams and desires are no different than those who have been following Him throughout this world for more than 2000 years. Yet the living out of this differs greatly from generation to generation and from place to place. 

            For my parents generation, this living out of faith meant being willing to sacrifice their lives
and the lives of those they loved on battlefields so that the cherished values that their faith had given them would be passed on to their children. As the threats retreated, we as their children craved a world where peace would reign and for us the living out of faith meant reaching out to others with initiatives of tolerance and understanding and at the same time protecting what we felt was our unique identity. For our children the living of faith has often been focused on social justice concerns and accepting our responsibilities for the mistakes of the past as well as taking action to create new opportunities for the oppressed. For my grandchildren the prime values of their faith are yet to be determined. Of course these are generalizations and faith has involved much more than that on both an individual and a corporate level.


In the final analysis, how our faith is lived is determined not so much by when or where we are living or by the values and goals of our generation, but rather by the unique daily walk of our lives and learning to trust the One we follow in the day-by-day decisions that make up our lives. It is the orientation of our hearts that often determines these and that means that we choose to listen and learn from He who loves us more than anyone else in the whole world, or we decide that we know best and go it alone. The choice is always ours. My prayer is that each of us will reach out to the One waiting to embrace us and walk with Him through 2019. Then we will have a Happy New Year whatever comes our way.
Word Guild Award

Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award
Happy New Year !

Eleanor Shepherd, an award-winning writer is a retired Salvation Army officer and has published over 100 articles internationally. A speaker at conferences, in Canada, the USA, France, Belgium, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, Haiti and Jamaica, her stories appeared in Hot Apple Cider and Christmas with Hot Apple Cider.  Her book More Questions than Answers, explains her style of evangelism by listening

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

A Happy New Year to you and your loved ones also, Eleanor. As always, a thoughtful and gently challenging devotional piece from you. (I say *gently* challenging, but I don't mean that it's not a powerful one - for it IS!) ~~+~~

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