What are you carrying into 2012?
With glittering fireworks and star-studded celebrations, the world eagerly welcomed a New Year and hope for a better future, saying goodbye to a year of hurricanes, civil strife, cocaine and illegal logging courtesy of Sierra Leone, tsunamis and economic turmoil that many would rather forget.
For some, the end of the year brings upon feelings of relief that another year is far behind us. But, for others, it’s a way to rejoice for a new beginning! It’s not hard to stray from the path that we lay before us on January 1st. Life is complicated, and we can easily retract to our old ways without remorse or regrets. Although the success rate of your goals may be less than you had hoped for, it can still prove to be positive in the long run with some minor adjustments.
Could it be unfinished business, good news, bad news, fears, faith, new goals or the same resolutions of last year? Who among us is passionately excited about the possibilities of this coming year? We can look at the glass half full or see it almost empty.
Deep down, regardless of what outside influences may affect us; most people are hard pressed to accomplish a progression of success. A New Year resolution does not have to be one that involves a drastic change in your life or the country, it can be focused on sustenance; the mind set to stay the course and cultivate your assets.
But many approached the New Year with more relief than joy, as people battered by weather disasters, joblessness and economic uncertainty hoped the stroke of midnight would change their fortunes.
G.K. Chesterton said, “The object of the New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.” My late mum always said: “Turn over a new leaf and start with a new page.”
Another year is dawning! I must pause to thank the faithful readers of my column. If this column serves no other purpose, I hope and pray the articles encourage you to reflect on your own understanding of God, selflessness and good governance, God’s love and light, God’s call to service and surrender of our leaders to make things right for their people. I am grateful for all the prayers support and God’s help working through the country, providing strength, faith and fear for His people during their tumultuous journey. Taking God seriously is indeed an awesome journey. I hope that Sierra Leoneans will look to God and think of Him as they prepare to make decisions for a better country.
Apostle Paul’s words recorded in Philippians 3:13 jump off the page: “Forgetting what lies behind and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press straining on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
And David in one of his songs recorded in Psalm 18:29 says – For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
We are now into the New Year, a decisive year for the growth of our country or the continued downward economic trend. We have scaled four years and now into the final bend for this year’s elections. It is right for us to first think as Sierra Leoneans by putting our country first, only by then we will achieve the intended success.
It is our belief that Leap year always comes with problems. I want to challenge every Sierra Leonean that this particular leap year will bring glad tidings to all of us if we put God first in our decision making. We have suffered immensely, the economic growth in the country is frustrating, electricity is almost the same, finding three square meals a day is an uphill task, but we will scaled through and leap over that wall if we are sincere to our conscience and the God that created the Heavens and the earth.
Let for once Sierra Leoneans try to beconscientious in making grave decisions, let us have the fear of God in us when we want to take decisions and let unbias and other negative vices don’t cloud our eyes and ears when we decide our decisions.
This is a very delicate year that is succeeding a year full of so much political, economic and social problems in the country. Let us don’t carry into this year all those problems but let us turn a new page with a new beginning of change in our daily behaviour in our work places, in public, in our schools and to one another. Only then we can make this year better than the last and prepare a positive way for the next.
I will want to close with a new year resolution by George Burr who writes – “I will, like Paul, forget those things which are behind and press forward; like David, lift up mine eye unto the hills from whence cometh my help; like Abraham, trust implicity in my God; like Enoch, walk in daily fellowship with my heavenly Father; like Jehoshaphat, prepare my heart to seek God; like Moses, chooses rather to suffer than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; like Daniel, commune with my God at all times; like Job, be patient under all circumstances; like Caleb and Joshua, refuse to be discouraged because of superior numbers; like Joseph, turn my back to all seductive advances; Like Gideon, advance even though my friends be few; like Aaron and Hur, uphold the hands of my leaders; like Isaiah, consecrate myself to do God’s work; like Andrew, strive to lead my brother into a closer walk with Christ; like John, lean upon the bosom of the Master and imbibe of His Spirit; like Stephen, manifest a forgiving spirit, toward all who seek my hurt; like Timothy, study the Word of God; like the heavenly host, proclaim the message of peace on earth and good will toward all men; and like my Lord Himself, overcome all earthly allurements by refusing to succumb to their enticements”.
Realizing that I cannot hope to achieve these objectives by my own strength I will rely upon Christ, for “I can do all things through Him (Christ) which strengthens me”.
By Austin Thomas
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