Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 4, 2014

An invitation to grow in 2014

By Michael C. Carson
Local columnist

---- — The beginning of this new year holds within it an awesome opportunity. It offers us the chance to, in a way, begin again. Now, of course, situations do carry over from one year to another. But with the beginning of this new year, there is an opportunity for us to in a sense well-“start over.”

You may ask, “Now Brother Mike can we really start over?”

Great Question. While on one hand, we are at this very moment tied to decisions we made in the past, we also have the right and ability to move forward. We can make new choices based on embracing new possibilities and options.

Author Carl Bard stated, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” There are times in our lives when we are challenged to “reinvent ourselves.” Just as in a few months the cold weather and snow of January will give way to embracing “spring-time,” the new year challenges each of us to become anew within ourselves.

Moving forward to embrace a new way of life is easier said than done. There is anxiety involved in moving beyond the familiar. There is fear tied to leaving the comfortable and normal. There are, however, blessings that come with one’s daring to travel into the unknown.

“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:1-2)

As you embrace the new year persuing your personal “home improvement” efforts to grow and develop in life, permit me to borrow a phrase from talk show host Jerry Springer. Upon ending each show Springer suggests: “Take care of yourself, and each other.”

Remember that along the “highway of change” there will be other people traveling also. There will be others in the process of reinventing themselves. We will come across persons (just like you and me) believing that with the new year they too have the opportunity to “right some wrongs” and climb some mountains in life that have been saying to them (us) “You do not have what it takes to climb me!”

Let’s strive to help each other as we take the challenge of the new year to embrace the “newness of life.” Sometimes we just might need the help of each other as we climb some of those mountains. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (St. Matthew 7:12) Any assistance we provide another is time well spent.

We have a great challenge ahead of us in this new year. We are invited by God to “apprehend” new goals, dreams, visions and aspirations. Through our helping others to apprehend their goals, we will be apprehended by our goals, dreams, and aspirations. When we sacrifice our time, talent, and treasure for others, we will come to better know Jesus Christ who truly demonstrated the meaning of true sacrifice for us!

Peace with justice, be blessed real good, attend worship, and families matter.