And so, another year has come to an end. While it might seem like only yesterday when we were gathering to celebrate New Years as 2012 began, the reality is that some 366 days have passed by. So my question to myself and to each of you is this: How well did you spend those 366 days? I am sure that I am not the only one who did not fulfill all of my New Year's Resolutions - again! Yet, I am not talking about the big things right now. I wish us to focus on the little ones, the day-to-day activities and interactions we had. How well did we use each of these days that God gave us?
It is really on this level that God has spent the most time talking to us. Feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and those in prisons, helping those who can't help themselves and loving our neighbors as we would want to be loved. This is indeed, in the end, what makes someone a person who makes the world a better place instead of making it worse.
Many of us had to say goodbye to loved ones (either family or friends) as they passed through death into an eternal life. As we reflect on those loved ones, did we make the most of every interaction with them or did we lose precious time worrying about things that didn't really matter in the end? Would we, if given another chance knowing that our days with this person were so limited, do anything differently? Would we have told them we loved them one more time? Well, I can tell you that in the 365 days ahead, most of us probably will say goodbye to other loved ones. Let's not miss any opportunity to express our love to them.
What acts of random kindness did you do last year? The kinds of actions that just helped someone because you could? Maybe it was holding a door open for someone or cleaning up a neighbors yard just because you could. It might have been paying the tolls for someone behind us on the turnpike or giving an extra gift to a charity of our choice. It may have been taking someone to a doctor's visit or going food shopping for someone who finds that to be difficult. The list of such acts is endless.
Can we, right now, at the end of this year, promise to ourselves and to God, that we will do more of these things in the coming year? If we do, if we show our love to those special in our lives, if we use each day that God gives us to the best of our abilities, then we can say that 2013 will indeed be a great year.
- Weiss is the first vice president of the United Churches of Lycoming County.