Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Missive 2008

This seems to be a year of changes for our world, for me and for many of us. The US we elected a new President whose campaign slogan was “Change – we can believe in.” World financial markets have changed from an artificially supported boom based on inflated housing prices to – who knows what. My friends and fellow baby boomers are worrying more about aging parents, arthritis, and kids in college than careers and small children. Good jobs with seemingly stable corporations disappear like morning mist.

Mid-year brought the end of a 25 year career as a full-time minister. Without good friends, old and new, and a strong base of support I wonder how I would have made it through the transition. A new house and shop, as well as new schedule and new priorities created plenty of work and worry. Though no one knows what tomorrow may bring, the venture into full-time rod making, writing, teaching, and itinerant preaching is both anxious and exciting.

William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbow'd.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

A sea captain only commands a ship. Admirals direct navies. This season reminds us that as we choose the courses over which we direct our lives, One who sees and knows more than we is ultimately in charge.

What changes has 2008 brought to your life? What changes might you anticipate for the year to come? In searching for stability in my life I have found only one thing which does not change; the goodness and love of God.
Each year at this time, for just a brief instant, our world pauses. So no matter what your faith, or lack thereof, take a moment. Scriptures tell us “But Mary kept all thise things, and pondered them in her heart.” Perhaps “ponder” is a good word for this season. Let’s ponder awhile on “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good repost; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

May God’s greatest blessing be yours at Christmas and forevermore,
Reverend Doctor Harry Boyd Jr.

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