Suffering Separation Anxiety in 2016

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, was suffering separation anxiety when he called to wish us a Happy New Year. He hated to think of the old year passing away and the New Year arriving.  He experienced so many good things in 2015 that 2016 could not possibly compare. He was vague about all the great events that he underwent this last year, but he hinted that a change in next door neighbors was liberating. My old neighbor wanted to share with me his predictions that he had ready for his New Year Eve’s party. I was a trial run to gauge reaction to his list of predictions for 2016.

His predictions for a coming year have to do with the weather, politics, the economy and whatever else Ed feels like offering. According to Ed, the winter weather in Saskatchewan will be cold, very cold, and bitter cold. The spring, early and dry, the summer cool, and the fall wet. When I asked about the weather for us in British Columbia, he said that it will be a wet lukewarm, for the whole year. On the political front, Ed is sure Donald Trump will get elected president in the USA, and that Canadians will start negotiating a trade deal to exchange Justin for Donald. Ed predicts that the way our dollar keeps getting devalued as compared to the American dollar, we will bring the penny back into circulation as that is all our dollar will be worth. Valueless dollars will bring about Canadian ingenuity as we will start mining our reserves of gold and diamonds and our currency will be either gold or diamonds. The whole world will envy us. My old neighbor got so excited about a new currency he didn’t get to the rest of his predictions. Ed got offended when I said I would need to see the gold and diamond currency before I would believe it even slightly possible. He insisted gold and diamonds are the future not oil or potash. He was frustrated that I didn’t accept all his predictions for the coming year.

Ed knows I do not make predictions for the coming year. At my age, I have enough trouble keeping track of my glasses and keys. I cannot even predict the kind of day I will have, let alone what will happen in the coming year. Unawareness of the future is in line with the book of James that cautions: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that.'” The book of Ecclesiastes also instructs; “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.”

May 2016 find God above you, underneath you, behind you, at your right hand, before you, round about you, and within you through his word and spirit for a blessed year.

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