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Looking forward

At no other time in life have I looked forward to a new year more. I like to take stock of the previous 365, and try to make some sense of them so that I can move forward in a positive direction. The intense pressure that has been placed upon us, due to all the happenings in 2020, has perhaps caused us all to be people who reflect just a little bit more.

We have had to face the stark reality of unbidden change. Our political climate has been so unhealthy. No matter what side of the aisle you identify with only an ignorant person could think the lack of dignity and poor standard of behavior we have witnessed could be called anything other than tragic.

Of course, there are a few in the political arena who still have standards of speech and behavior for our youth to emulate, but they seem to be terribly outnumbered by those who would spew lies and hate, or at the very least react poorly to the pressure they have taken on.

But the behavior of many of our elected officials is only a mirror of our society. I remember the old saying, be careful of pointing fingers because several are always pointing back at you. With this in mind, I take a look at myself. How have I reacted to the stressors of 2020? I suppose, like most of us, I see some good and some bad ways that I have chosen to deal with the pandemic.

Although 2020 has been a challenging year, it has allowed us to see how we act under pressure. Do we focus on our own needs and ourselves too much? As with anything in life this is a total balancing act. It is very important to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually, but try to help others as well.

Throughout my life I have found that many times the very best thing we can do is to look around and notice the beauty. Everyone is dealing with something, and we can chose to be part of the beautiful. One way a Christian can accomplish this is by loving others and showing it by living a life above the noise and ugly.

Scripture states, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth” (Isaiah 52:7).

This day we can chose to be people who react to the challenges of life by looking upward for help from our Savior and outward at the needs of others. Statistically speaking 80 percent of new resolutions are broken within a short period, and I know thinking things over and writing it down on paper won’t mean that I won’t mess up this year, but I think the important thing is that we take a look at where we have been and step out in the right direction.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.