Every Christmas and New Year is a time of cheer, love, traditions, hot cocoa, and conversations with family and friends around the fireplace. It is a time of celebration, to celebrate the joyous birth of Jesus Christ, while also ringing in the New Year with Dick Clark. It truly is one of the most magical holidays of the year.
However, each year around this same time, amidst the swirling frenzy of shopping and binging on Christmas cookies or whatever else co-workers concoct for the daily office Christmas celebration, it a time of deep reflection for me. I survey my own past year to see what the heck I have done with my life and whether it is still in line with my hopes, dreams, and expectations. As I reflect upon the year, I also quiet my emotion and soul and allow God to take my mind down winding paths and thoughts of the heart. It is more a combination of thought, prayer, talking to myself and God, but not saying any actual verbal words, and more like allowing the heart to sink deep into myself, thinking and listening in a very abandoned sort of way.
Each year I realize at some point during this process that at no particular moment was I ever alone in this world. I see how God worked out the clanging sounds of days and weeks gone wrong with the grace of an orchestra conductor. And how things that made me feel like “This is really it. This is the end of….” God worked out the good in ways that I did not expect and or think could happen.
In the midst of this same realization, I also am aware how much I fell short of “doing” the things that I felt I should have done this year to justify God’s goodness and affection toward me. And I will fall short again in 2012. Without a doubt. I try to be good to bring out his goodness. Thankfully His love is not subservient to my shortcomings.
The fact is, God’s goodness towards me and you is just unjustifiable. He is good because HE is good. That’s all there is to it. HE is GOOD and that is why He does GOOD things. Might I also mention that He did a real good thing many centuries ago by becoming flesh one night and going through hell to be closer to us? And that’s why we celebrate Christmas, good friends, and a fresh 365 days. We are given the fresh start of a New Year like a freshly baked cookie — just waiting for us to taste and see that it is really good.
Here’s to a New Year. To a good God. To a Father that celebrates with us the gift of the past and the hope of the future.