It is the last hour of 2015 and I am sitting in my office in Akko, Israel. The fact that it is approaching midnight and I am still working is nothing very different from many other nights. But each year at this time I contemplate how much of the year ending will reflect on the new one coming in. How much of 2015 will continue into 2016? Or will it be a year of significant changes?
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18 & 19
That is God’s purpose in nature, seasons, the sun rising again each morning, the cycle of life- it all reflects on a new beginning.
Each year we re-evaluate how the Survivors’ needs may have changed and how we need to change with them. The needs of an aging population are not the same now as they were five years ago. In five more years more of the Survivors will experience illness and loss of a spouse, family member or friend. Sometime in the next year many will be no longer be able to do their own shopping and may be unable to leave their homes. In a few more years, there may not be any more of the Survivors dancing. With each successive year we will lose more and more of our Survivor friends to the end result of living.
But even with the changes, some things remain the same. God’s love for us and the Survivors and our love for them. He has given us a passion for His people and we will adjust with the new things that come each year to continue what the Survivors have come to expect- love without conditions, honor for all and all the hugs we can hand out.
We do not expect 2016 to be the same. There will be some adjustments and changes, some hard choices and even some “duh” moments where we suddenly see some things more clearly than before.
If any of you have read the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson you will know the verses above parallel his storyline. In it the mice living in a maze always go to one Cheese Station to get their cheese. One day there is no more cheese. Though they wait there for days, or leave and come back, there simply is no more cheese.
Two mice go to look for cheese elsewhere. One mouse has to overcome his fear of the unknown to go and look for a New Cheese Station. And one mouse decides he is not leaving the Old Cheese Station and refuses to consider changing, even as he is starving. He is angry things changed and refuses to accept it.
The mice that went looking for cheese find a huge supply of New Cheese. Some of the cheeses are a kind they never tried before. But they determine to try it all and begin to adapt quite well to the New Cheese.
As we head into this new year, I wish for all of you to experience some New Cheese. Try something out of the ordinary. Evaluate if some change would do you or your family some good. Don’t hang onto the old way simply because it always worked well before. Step out and see what is around the corner or down the corridor. It could be a huge stash of New Cheese that will make your former supply paltry in comparison.
Go ahead, run forward and ask God to give you some terrific New Cheese!