Happy New Year – The Last 12 Months Were a Whirlwind
Some of you are familiar with my “mental year”. Institutional education set Labor Day as the start of my year and it still feels that way to me today.
A year ago today I was in the same place, Breckenridge, Colorado and thankfully, I’ve returned a few times over the last twelve months. There are few other places I’d rather be to start the year.
The past twelve months were nothing short of busy.
John Bunyan was the start of my reading this past year. I had never read Pilgrim’s Progress. Another great book my lack luster public school education failed to mention. Bunyan reminded me of the struggle that is the Christian life, full of its failures, giants, friends and foes.
“This hill though high I covent ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend;
For I perceive the way of life lies here.
Come, pluck up, heart; let's neither faint nor fear. ”
― John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress
Nabeel Qureshi’s “Seeking Allah Finding Jesus” was a great learning experience. His book helped me further understand the Islamic faith and my friends who share it. I read yesterday he is battling stomach cancer with a grim outlook. Pray for his healing.
The best read for me was from Os Guinness, “Fool’s Talk”. The follow up to “The Long Journey Home.” Once again, Guinness introduces me to dozens of books I have yet to read and must. Further, without seeking it, he affirmed my pattern of evangelism and pursuit of others,
In April I enjoyed four days alone in the wilderness of Monument Valley, Capital Reef and Glen Canyon. The quiet did me well. “Pascal and his brilliant exposition in Pensées. “I have often said,” Pascal wrote, “that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his own room.” (Os Guinness, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion).
It has been a year of opportunity, experience, trial, and blessing, and I remain undeserving. One of the most memorable quotes from Os Guinness’ book “Fool’s Talk” was about Robery Murray M’Cheyne: “When the eminent Scottish preacher Robert Murray M’Cheyne was congratulated by a parishioner for his saintliness, he replied sharply, “Madame, if you could see in my heart, you would spit in my face.”
Sarah just started her junior year of college and Beau is in his senior year of high school. This is keeping the two of them incredibly busy. Danae continues to invest in each of us and keep our home and lives in managed order. The family I serve and their business continues to grow and it is a privilege to be included in their journey.
This past trip around the sun for Danae and I pulled the corners of our faith out further for an even more ecumenical view. Reading Catholic apologetics has brought us to a greater understanding and appreciation of Catholicism and all it has given us and permitted a greater view beyond Solo Scriptoria to understanding and knowing Jesus.
Our travel as a family took us to the wilds of Alaska for a trip we will never forget. Waking up under glaciers and far from the busyness of life was surreal.
Last night we sat by the fire in Frisco, Colorado as the temperature dropped into the 40’s; A great relief on September 2nd. Here’s hoping for fine weather this next year, no hail, a little less rain, and moderate temps.
Happy New Year to you! I hope the gifts, trials, and moments of the next twelve months inspire, motivate and refine you.