Monday, December 29, 2008

Year 2008 - Blessings???

As another year comes to an end, I can't help but look back and ponder all that has transpired the past 12 months. In doing this, I find myself thinking about how I wish things were different, instead of thanking God for all that He has blessed me with in 2008.

First let me explain the negativity. After working over 30 years and saving for retirement, I was finally able to retire. Living on investment income for the past 7 years and I can't really complain about anything. Life is good. Enter 2008. The economy fails, we go into a recession, and you watch your nest egg dwindle to about 50%-60% of what it used to be. This seems scary until you put it into perspective with the rest of the world.

It seems that it is so easy to focus on things that really don't matter in our lives instead of focusing on the important things. Money certainly falls into the "Don't Matter" box and God, family, friends, health, all fall into the "Does Matter" box. If I were to make a list of the things that God has blessed me with, time and paper would definitely fail me. I suppose you could say the same thing about all the items that don't matter but that would be useless because they, "Don't Matter". Another reason not to worry about the "Don't Matter" things is that it certainly doesn't make you feel good, where thinking about all of the positive things does. So why then, do we do it?? I will have to admit for myself it is the old adage that the more we have the more we seem to want. This is a bad rut to get into and takes some good navigation skills to stay out. (I am not sure if I am having problems with my navigation skills or if the vehicle needs some maintenance.) Imagine what it was like for the Disciples when Jesus asked them to follow him. They gave up everything they had and followed him. They left with just the clothes on their back. If you would put yourself in their sandals back then, could you have done that? I don't know if any of us can answer that one. I know most of us would like to say that we would, but remember what we know about Jesus now compared to what the Disciples knew about him then.

Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is that 2008 was another year where Brenda and I were very blessed. Sure, we still had all of the normal challenges and scares through out the year but all is well now, at least in the "Does Matter" box. I hope and pray that this coming year is as fruitful. My prayer for you is that your "Does Matter" box is well and abundant throughout your life.

"Life is good if you let it."


Steve at Random said...

Thanks for putting things in perspective. Up until I read this, I didn't know we had two boxes. But I like the ones you have clearly outlined - NDSVD

AZJim said...

I am not sure if you have seen the presentation of the difference between a womans brain and a mans but the man's brain is made up of many different boxes. We work with only one box at a time and the boxes never intermingle. A womans brain has everything intermingled and connected. I will send you a video.

Steve at Random said...

Thanks for the video...I especially liked the special box that men have that allows us to spend the day fishing. For the past 16 days, I've used my special box to complete absolutely nothing. However, tomorrow it's back to work.

Kathie said...

Hi Jim,
Happy New Year!
Your post reinforced much of what I have been thinking lately. There is nothing like having it all taken away to bring home what is important in this life. All of us in this country are blessed...even those who couldn't retire early! When we compare our lives to most of the world, we have so much and have taken so much for granted. I truly believe these difficult times are used by God to develop our reliance on Him, and not our wealth or our own abilities. The disciples were asked to give up everything they had to follow Jesus...we haven't been asked that but we are told to put our faith in God and realize He is in control...not us! So, here's to a wonderful New Year, whatever it holds for all of us.