Monday, December 29, 2008

2009: A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER?

It blows my mind that 2008 is almost over and we're going to be turning another page to 2009. It promises to be a historical year complete with a new president, a new party in office and, of course, a horrendous mess that everyone's looking to Barack to remedy. We do, however, have to remind ourselves that he is not the only one making decisions and since he is not a king with absolute power, many in Washington will weigh in on how to solve our world of problems. I certainly do not envy Barack. The only one that has it made is Bush. He gets to walk away, smile and wave goodbye. I'm sure he'll get over his low popularity rating as he spends his considerable retirement wages.

But all of us, we're not so lucky. Many of us are jobless, have gone into foreclosure or are trying to sell our homes for less than we owe on our mortgages, just for cash to live on. Others have had to watch their retirement savings go down the tubes. We've just experienced pretty meager Christmas gift giving, couldn't afford to travel and are not looking forward to another year of the same struggles. But, look what we've gained. Did you hear that right? Gains in this bleak economy? Yes, folks, gains!

Out of this comes a concentration on home, family, loved ones and prayer. Not only is prayer in place for making requests of God, it's there to connect us to God. An invisible email, so to speak. His address always comes up in the send line and we don't need a computer to reach him. He is on speed dial, and we don't need a phone. I believe that prayer is the single most powerful way to affect a change in our lives, and not just in an outcome. By relying on prayer, making it a habit, we connect to God and in so doing, we feel his connection with us.

And don't forget little children. Whether they're ours or someone else's, these little ones are so innocent and removed from all this other stuff. Their smiles and outlook is so devoid of cynicism and worry and depression. They are our best guides through all of this. They're happy with a crayon and a piece of paper and if, as they get older, they are wrapped up in Playstation and Wii, it's because WE over did it. If they don't prize a fresh dollar bill from Grandma and Grandpa, it's because we haven't taught them the value of money.

Instead of concentrating on the negatives of our present difficulties, concentrate on all the blessings we do have. There is no greater place to start than with prayer and children.

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