(Keith wrote this for our church newsletter and I asked if it could be posted on the family blog. I meant to post it in early January, but obviously didn't. Hope you still enjoy it now.)
What’s the difference between December 31, 2012 and January 1, 2013? One second? An IRS defining line? Nothing? Starting over? Well, are you a pessimist or an optimist at the core of your being?
I rather like the turning of years. Even though New Year’s Day is usually cold here in the North, I feel warm inside with the thought of what may come from a new dawning. I don’t mind getting older. Yes the old bod isn’t what it once was and those who say getting older isn’t for cowards are spot on. But... there is just something about the defining moment of the “new year” that brings excitement. Or it should be exciting and not dreadful in anticipation.
Before sitting down to write this I received an e-mail from a New Year optimist. I’ve known Melita for 32 years. As a young adult growing up in the 1960’s she was an original hippie from the Haight/Ashbury scene of San Francisco with all its excess and exploration. Out of this experience she came to have the greatest experience: a saving relationship with the living savior, Jesus Christ. She was and is an original Jesus Freak! This has made her an optimist to her very core.
Melita may die in 2013. She knows this. Cancer.
In the days of the New Testament, a cross was a sure sign of death. If someone carried one, it was to the place of their execution that they bore it. In our day, “palliative care” is a sure sign of death. Medicine and doctors can do no more. Jesus said take up your cross and follow me.
Melita did this many years ago and over the years has kept it on her shoulder. So having already once died, she is ready to die (Romans 6:3-8). That’s heaven’s logic (truth) and a believer’s optimism (faith) operating in soul- satisfying cooperation.
“New” is not a word for pessimists. They like to live in the “old”, too scared to trust a better thing coming and opting for their known and comfy (maybe even miserable) existence. New, to them, is just a version of the “same old, same old” way of seeing and living.
You tell me. Is there heavenly logic in “He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
“All things” for Melita means palliative care and the optimism of a “new year.” Hallelujah!
Here’s to your new year—May you know the power of the cross and the One who loves you and the power of your cross and the peace it brings, oh you mighty optimists. Let’s see what God can do through us this year.