This year, I found myself enjoying all of the aforementioned pleasures of the holiday season. Yet, I also felt much more than joy and elation. It was the realization that this year had a lot of endings, a lot of beginnings and a lot of continuations. I reflected on more than I normally do...or have for quite a while. And in all these reflections, I heard the words, "The End is the Beginning," as sung by Cloverton. The main part of what I keep hearing is the simple reminder that, "Where death makes way for living, It's on you I'm depending, and it all begins in the end."
As the year closes, I've reflected on what was, and what is ahead. The tears that accompanied the was are many. Every where I've turned I see what was, both physically and mentally. As the great Ron Burgundy once bellowed, "I'm in a glass case of emotion." Yes, that is currently me as the was plays in my head. Yet, as the what is ahead flashes, I'm encouraged. I'm excited to see what God is doing, and yet I'm nervous about what indeed lies ahead. Most importantly, I know I'm not alone in this glass case.
The was of 2016 saw friends having babies. My wife has started school to pursue nursing. My daughter is in the infancy of becoming a photographer thanks to school and her yearbook class. My son is pursuing life in the music industry. I saw friends buy houses and cars. Heck, my wife has a new car too! Yet, all this joy has also been surrounded by friends entangled in addictions. Friends have separated from their spouse (some restored their marriage) and divorced. Friends and family have dealt with various illnesses. Most recently, friends that are family have been stung by death. I can safely say 2016 has been a roller coaster.
Now, as 2017 greets me, I know there are things and events that will be life altering. Moments that I already cherish knowing how unforgettable they will be. I'll get to see my son graduate high school and participate in his final home game in baseball. I'll be watching my daughter cheer at her first Wyoming State High School Cheer Competition. My wife and I will be celebrating 20 years of marriage! I'll be vacationing with friends and family during the baseball season, and as we visit a dear friend we have to see to help all of us heal.
Good bye 2016. It is your end that is the beginning of healing. The beginning of renewed life. New adventures lie ahead and 2017 is ready, willing and able to host these events. Yes, there will be bumps, bruises, and certainly some losses, but through it all I know that indeed, "It all begins in the end." Me, it is my pride, my ego, my hurt, my everything that will end, and it is that end which will begin my joy, contentment and peace in Christ.