Each year, many magazines produce an issue with a special picture section recalling people and events that made good news during the previous year.
Some include articles by experts predicting what they expect to see happening in the years ahead – predicting how we can feel better, look better and have enough free time to enjoy life to the full.
Most of these predictions involve the use of a gadget or a product that will do such ‘great’ things for our minds and bodies that everyone will want to know us and share in our environment.
Well, I don’t know about you, but these predictions certainly miss the mark as far as my life is concerned!
In fact, most people I know, in a similar way to me, have tried everything they can to change, but fail each year while trying to do this.
So here we are, three weeks into 2015. I wonder how we will do this year?
Will we be as busy? Will we make any better use of our time? When this year is over, will we be looking back with joy or with regret?
If we look to the bible for guidance on these matters, there are many passages that encourage us to live wisely and make the most of every opportunity given to us.
One story I share with people in the parish, who admit that something in their life needs to change, is the story of two women who, one day, are in the company of Jesus in his friend Lazarus’ house.
Mary took time to sit and listen to all Jesus said that day and Martha, on the other hand, took no time to listen to Jesus. Instead, Martha spent a lot of time busying herself in kitchen.
After a while, Martha noticed her sister was still not leaving Jesus’ side. Mary was engrossed in all Jesus was saying to her.
Martha became annoyed at her sister, as she wanted support in the kitchen to prepare the food.
However, Jesus, in his own way, reminded Martha that taking time to stop and listen to each other, and not getting overly concerned about matters in the kitchen, were important too.
Today, that bible message, which encourages us to consider deeply what is most important in our lives, is a story that is not encouraging us to purchase expensive products which may or may not alter our lifestyle.
Instead, the story encourages us to think about ourselves and what we value as important.
I am not someone who likes to predict anything.
However, I would suggest that, in 2015, if we remember that bible story and maintain a lifestyle that includes taking time for ourselves and time for sharing with friends, then this will be a wonderful year for us.
Happy New Year, everyone.