Happy New Year!

by Joan C Webb on January 2, 2008

2008 is here! Wish I could sit and chat with you and listen to your plans and dreams for the coming year. (For me, listening to another’s honest thoughts and aspirations is like gazing at an inspiring landscape such as Niagara Falls. My husband just snapped this photo when he visited there recently.)

A few weeks ago when I heard the following true story, I thought of you (you I haven’t met yet and all you I already know–and love.) I hope you take these words into 2008 with you, to inspire and encourage you.

“I have the results of your stress test,” said Dr. Page.* “You have major blockage in several arteries and need immediate intervention.”

“Whoa. That’s not the kind of news I wanted to hear,” replied Michael*, a middle-aged family man with a challenging career. “Can you fix my heart?”

“Sure,” answered Dr. Page. “Talk to my nurse and let’s schedule your surgery for as soon as possible.” After the doctor explained about the surgery and follow-up care, Michael drove home to share the news with his wife and family.
Later the doctor visited Michael in the hospital room where he was recuperating. “Are my arteries open now and the blood pumping through again?” Michael asked the doctor.

“Open and pumping the blood, all you’ll ever need,” assured Dr. Page.

Michael’s wife, Sarah*, leaned toward the doctor and asked, “But what will his quality of life be like now?”

“I fixed his heart, but the quality of his life is up to him,” remarked the doctor.
This story really touches my heart (and I don’t have clogged arteries!) Once again it confirms to me that I am personally responsible for my own decisions, beliefs, actions, and growth. It’s an awesome and do-able privilege, since I’m the only one I can change. (I know I can’t change other people, and often I can’t change my imperfect circumstances, either. But I can change my thinking and behavior–and make choices that may alter my situation.)

That’s why I thought of you. You, too, have the privilege of making personal decisions and following through with determined action. It takes courage, commitment and faith. And you have all three. Grab them and go. :-) What decision calls for your courageous action? What choice seems impossible to make? What next step is God urging you to take? Perhaps 2008 is your year for change.
Remember this good news: God has fixed your spiritual heart, the quality of your life is up to you. In 2008, may you find rest, joy, gratitude and peace as you continue to make wise and healthy choices to ensure the quality of your life.

Trading exhausting expectations for imperfect joy,

* Names in this story have been changed.]

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