I could hardly believe another year had come and gone but here it was, January 1, 2013. The sky was overcast, the wind cool but not cold. I was staying behind the trees as much as possible, trying to spy on a few wood ducks in the creek. I stood by a large pine with my binoculars and glassed the area but there were only Mergansers, fish ducks.
After a while, I forgot about the ducks and just listened to the whisper of the forest, and in no time, felt at one with it. I began to meditate and was thinking how much I was glad the year 2012 had come to an end for it had been a frustrating and challenging time. The real estate business was slow and I learned that no matter how hard you try, you can’t be prepared for everything. I felt somehow alone, tired, drained. The pine I was leaning against swayed gently back and forth while the wind sung its lullaby. ‘Overcast, cool, the wind, the forest, the animals and birds and little old lonely me’, I thought.
Suddenly something said, ‘No, it’s not just you. Not just you that does not have all the answers. Not just you who is concerned for their grandchildren’s future. Not just you who is concerned about their own or their neighbor’s livelihood. Not just you that is informed and knows enough of what is going on to see in part what is coming, what has to come! Not just you that senses danger ahead for your nation. Not just you that is dissatisfied with Washington. Not just you that needs to have faith you can prevail if you have the courage to make the sacrifices necessary. Not just you that needs the strength that when you hear the truth, you are willing to see it and accept it.
I walked slowly back to my pickup. I no longer felt alone. I felt more optimistic and knew that even though the coming year would bring unknown challenges, somehow we would persevere and grow stronger, wiser.
I became elated at the prospect of the challenges ahead; ready to meet them head on like a soldier or fighter who is prepared for the contest. I was finally mentally and inwardly ready for the New Year.
Upon returning home, I held my wife close and prayed aloud that God accept my thanks for all the blessings we share as a family and to help me be a better man in 2013 than I had been in 2012. It is adversity that builds character and I sense that, as a nation, we are in for some character building. So hold tight to those you love, to that you truly believe in, and get ready for what I think may just be the ride of our lives, may just be; The times that try men’s souls.