Reluctantly Changing Years and Shifting Gears!

Ed, my neighbor next door, claims we should refuse to change years. “Why not just stick with the same year each January 1st? There is no reason we couldn’t do the same year over and over,” Ed insists. Ed has a dislike for the number 13, so he really isn’t looking forward to 2013. He also claims it would be good for time to stand still. We need to get stuck on the same year so everyone can get caught up on their lives.

I have found through the years that sometimes I cannot even think of any comments for Ed’s ideas. All I could tell Ed was that we needed to move on to 2013 because it will usher in my second retirement. Of course, Ed had to scoff at me for saying that I was “retiring” from Walmart. According to Ed, my working part time there was just a paid hobby, not really work. All I could say to Ed was that it sure seemed like work to me. I tried to change the subject by asking Ed if their annual New Year’s party was happing this year with his no-fail predictions for the coming year.

“Of course it will happen,” Ed informed me. “People need to have an idea of what is going to happen in 2013. They count on me to prepare them,” Ed told me with pride.

Getting prepared for the New Year coming upon us makes me think of when I was driving cars that were not automatic. Changing gears using a clutch could at times be less than smooth. It took me a while to get used to stopping and starting on the road up the mountain in Hamilton, Ontario in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

When shifting gears in life, I am sometimes pretty anxious because I am adjusting to what is new. Being completely retired will be a big adjustment for me. Retired folks have to be self-disciplined, as otherwise life can become pretty static. Will I be up to keeping myself active and productive, or will I dry up like cut grass? Even the dream of retirement can come with a lumpy pillow. Shifting into full-time retirement could be less than smooth in 2013 for me. I can almost hear some gears grinding already

Thankfully, God does not let us know the future. One day at a time is all we need to know and usually it is more than enough for us to deal with. The Bible says it this way: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Our days come with no guarantee of limitless joy or even productive activity. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know God holds the future. May God’s promise spoken to his people in captivity be ours – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has a plan for you and a plan for me. His love and goodness have set us free to be just exactly who He wants us to be.

 

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Raymond Maher
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