Once upon a time, I took the ushering in of the new year very seriously. I would will myself to stay up until the clock hit midnight, watch all the festivities on tv and even record them onto VHS so that I could look back on them one day as an old man. I would crawl back into bed when I couldn't stay awake any longer, but continue to have my own quiet celebrations as I eagerly dreamed of all the good that the new year has to offer. Then life reared its ugly head at many of us, spawning yet another new generation of eternal pessimists.
Extracting my wisdom teeth. Kobe's 81. My very inconsistently-updated song-of-the-weeks. Taking a chance. Revisiting berk. Finally getting my diplomas. Uncovering so much talent in indie music. Promethean sunsets. Celebrating with those who got married (angie & jude, cindy & paul, annette & abe) and those who've promised to (paul & tammy, gene & esther, linda & jomo, haejin & kevin). Aegon. Job promotion. Hanging out with my new fish. Shows & concerts. Places that I could cross of the list (denver, philly, jersey, new york, d.c., florida, north carolina, virginia). Griffiths. A full year without dad.
On the surface, many of these seemingly trivial events from this past year may give reason to believe that my year just came and left through the back door unnoticed. Instead, 2006 was a very trying year, as I'm sure it was for many.
By the same token, these events really doesn't do myself any justice in announcing the type of person I am today. Despite the laundry list of things that's happened, it's the unmentionables that's shaped me most. My family whom I love. My friends who couldn't be any more available and supportive. And God, with whom I've painfully wrestled for months, yet He continued to provide in spite of all my questions. Maybe all the answers haven't been dispensed yet, but He's given me a sufficient amount of peace to cope with that.
Have I grown more mature this year? Incrementally, I'm sure, but an improvement nonetheless. Has my outlook on life changed? Definitely better as I fall back to the basic truths. It doesn't matter if I'm the biggest screw-up or one who's always stayed within the lines. His grace redeems you way beyond what you're really worth.
I'm not a big fan of posting bible verses, but this one stood out in particular during Sung's message today (from Mark chap. 9):
"...but if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.What awaits for me in the new year? One thing's for certain: no more if's, woulda's, coulda's, and shoulda's. The lessons I've learned in '06 are coming with me.
"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Here's to a hopeful '07.