Greetings and Happy New Year!
2018 Got off to a slow and quiet start for me, as I was swallowed up by the flu bug on Christmas afternoon, taking all of my energy from me up until this past weekend. Drained from having completed our family Christmas circuit, focusing on properly stowing all of the gifts the kids got from their overly generous grandparents, aunts and uncles and ready to get some much-needed real estate back from our Christmas tree, writing has not been on the forefront of my mind. Until yesterday.
Our nearly 5-month-old daughter, being the last to dispel the flu from her system, was not fit to attend church this weekend. My wife needed some time and my kids had also recently on the mend, meant that I would attend church on my own. The sixth of January being the feast of the Epiphany, the gospel at church was taken from that this week. The priest’s homily is what shed light on my post today. He spoke about the imagery of dawn, and its ties to the gifts the wise men gave to us when they recognized Jesus as the King of all people, for all times. Their gift to us is illumination. When they brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to Christ, they illuminated, much as dawn does for a landscape, the beauty of the gift of Christ in human form. Both the fact of Christ’s divinity, and his humanity, and the new light of day call for us to be a city on a hill for all.
And this got me to thinking, am I truly a Christian in the sense that my life reflects the Love God has brought to my life? Do I reflect God in meaningful ways to my wife, my children, my community? Decidedly, I do not believe I’ve done a good enough job of that task, that requirement. Whether worn down from a long day at work, frustrated that my individual desires are bogged down by family responsibilities, or just caught up on worldly thoughts, too often I miss my opportunities to be a Christ-like leader in these environments. So here I find myself taking the time to reflect and resolve what my 2018 goals will be. Last year, I think I did a decent job of achieving a myriad of goals. I intend to use these achievements as stepping-stones to a more fulfilling 2018 goal: namely that I will spend more time internally processing where my conflicts lay, and will rise to meet them, as best I can, in the manner in which my faith commands me.
Lofty tho this may be, it is what I am called to as a Christian husband, father, son and brother. It is what I am called to as a member of my company, community and country. I plan on defining these roles, and the ways I can reflect the light of Christ as those opportunities avail themselves throughout the days, weeks and months ahead – but I also know that being present in my daily vocations and responsibilities will help me to reach these on a consistent level. I intend to report back in the ways in which I’ve both succeeded and failed – and what lessons I’ve learned along the way. This will be my theme for both my writing, and my living over the next year.
Good luck in your ventures here in 2018! I hope each and every one of you find the path calling you, and stays within its bounds as regularly as possible. I hope to do the same.
Yours in the Continued Pursuit of Happiness,