Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Thoughts on Christmas Eve

This day is always a quiet, reflective one for me. Looking back at my blog a year ago today , I see that some of the same things are on my mind, yet modified by current events.
  • What to say about the economy? The glass has water up to the mid point. Is that good or bad? Depends on who you want to believe. Some metrics are encouraging. Other measures depress us all. In our area, several factories are re-hiring. Another one was shut down last week. This morning, we learn that mad cow disease is found in the US. Looks to me like we'll keep lurching sideways.

  • Change is difficult. Combating such inertia, even on a local level, is tough. The inertia to maintain the status quo is huge. The need for a combination of focus and perseverence has hit me more deeply than ever. And indifference to focus and persevernce bugs me more than ever.

  • My sons seem to be in better spots than they were a year ago. David, age 25, is loving being a medic in the US Army, despite the fact it means he spends this Christmas in barracks 12 miles from the North Korean border. He and his wife are expecting twin boys in early March. Nathan, now 23, is more settled and finding a career job opportunity at last. The maturation process continues, positively. Matt, age 15, has straight A's, good friends and a Learner's Permit. Look out, local drivers. Being a Dad, example and counselor to three very different kids remains a joy and a mind-blowing challenge.

  • My own Dad remains a huge example to me. It's hard to believe that he died ten years ago today, Christmas Eve, 1993. I am so grateful for a man from whom I could learn everything from soybean futures to serving on a school board to nurturing a long marriage. With my own son soon becoming a Dad himself, his example means more than ever.

  • Hope is central, and without it we have little to hang on. My own hope flows from my faith in Christ, which continues to be very real to me.

My very best to you this Christmas. Thank you for your gift to me, allowing and encouraging me to write and learn in the public space. It means more than you can imagine.

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