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New Year hopes and dreams
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Some time ago
I came across a series of quotes which expressed the difference between the
optimist and the pessimist. Here are some of them:-
"An optimist looks on an oyster and expects to find a
A pessimist looks at an oyster and expects food poisoning."
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
possible worlds. And the pessimist fears this is true."
"Twixt the optimist and the pessimist the difference is
droll: The optimist sees the doughnut but the pessimist sees the hole."
Well, I don't suppose that many of us would fit neatly into
either of these categories, but it is true that people have very different
attitudes when it comes to the way they look at life in general and probably
especially the future.
For some, the future is something to be eagerly anticipated as
they think of the hopes and dreams they have for themselves, their families and
the world at large.
For others, the future is viewed with a sense of concern and
trepidation. There may be fears about the ongoing situation with the
pandemic, deteriorating health, the rapidly changing values of society, or
"progress" which leaves behind a multitude in it's wake.
At this time of year, these thoughts are often heightened.
We spend time reflecting on years gone by and we take time to consider our
hopes and dreams for the future. The main difference is that we know what
has happened, but it is almost impossible to predict with any certainty exactly
what the future will hold. There will clearly continue to be developments
in technology and industry but what about the Church, what about morality and
spirituality? We hear all sorts of predictions relating to those.
Well, the one thing we can be absolutely certain of as
Christians is that the future is in God's hands. The God who loved our
world so much that He sent His son to die on the cross is not going to turn His
back on us or abandon us, and He still has purposes and plans which He wants to
work out through His Church. For this reason, as we look to the future as
Christians, we can do so with the faith that can help us overcome all
fears. The God we believe in is the God of the future as well as the
past, and however much the world or the Church may change, His faithfulness
will keep us to the end.
Let me finish with some words of Richard Baxter written many
centuries ago, but words which I believe are also appropriate as we look to the
"God will have other generations to succeed us … The gospel
dieth not when I die: the Church dieth not: the praises of God die not: the
world dieth not: and perhaps it shall grow better."
Wishing you all a very peaceful and happy New Year."
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