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Christian Counseling - Seeking a Happy New Year

"For auld lang syne, we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne" (meaning for the good old times). This Scottish poem is often sung immediately upon entering a new year; following the stoke of midnight. We look back and honor special, blessed moments and people that now have been immortalized in our private museums of treasured memories. It is good to remember and pay tribute.

Yet, as humans, we have a tendency to cleanse our memories of some of their impurities, leading to our idealization of people and eras. In days past it often seems the glory was brighter, the grass greener and the relationships richer. This is one of the reasons we think former days were better than those in the present. Ecclesiastes 7:10 tells us it is not wise to bask in this type of thinking. It can limit our joy and give us a jaundiced eye concerning the present.

Living in other than the here-and-now, rather than visiting the past and present, is reflective of our own displeasure with life. So, we look to the past for peace and joy or look to the future for relief and celebration when we will have succeeded in our New Year's resolutions. But, for some, the change most needed is to resolve to live in the present--the only moment we can possess and the only moment in which we can act.

Here in, to a large degree, is contentment. A state of mind free from longing for the past or wishing for a future event. It is not that the past has nothing to offer, such as a teacher of history, or that the future should not be anticipated and planned, but to us they exist only in the mind, and are outside of our control. When we over dwell on either of them we miss the moment of life.

We all believe life is short, but many don't intimately know it. Those who do know that life is but a breath have been molded by that reality. The result of which causes them to spend more time in the here-and-now, in search of the only true life. As Henry David Thoreau, these men and women don't want to be surprised at the end of their lives by the frightening reality that they have not yet lived.

Risk to keep life in the realm of an adventure and live extraordinarily.

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