Today represents the fiftieth New Year that I’ve experienced in my life, and I have to say that it doesn’t seem much different from what’s come before. Like most, I lean forward with anticipation that the coming year will be “better” than the past. And yet I also know that every generation somehow believes that life was either better in the past or will be better in the future. What we tend to discount is what is happening right now, the current moment, and how God (if we believe in God) is present and accounted for. If I have a goal for 2011 (and I’m hesitant to have any because I am so bad at achieving them) it is to do my best to be present in the moment, appreciating God’s creation for all it throws at me.
As I think about all of this, it seems to me that the great Jewish theologian, Mr. William Joel offers great perspective on the pain of the past years and our hope for the future: