December 31, 2022 Doug Shaw

I’ve been wondering what the beginning of a new year might mean for people all over the world. What will people in London, a village in Malawi, a gathering on a street corner in Rio, a farmer in New Zealand or Nebraska all hope for at the start of this new year?

If I learned anything from watching television as the new millennium unfolded across our globe 23 years ago, it was that we experience New Year’s Day at different times—even different days, given the International Date Line.

I guess I’m thinking globally because as I grow older, the world seems to be getting smaller. What happens on another continent keenly affects what happens here in Naperville, Illinois, U.S.A. where I’m writing this blog. All one needs to hear are the words “supply chain” and it helps to bring this point home for most of us.

I find myself wondering, do we all share one of the same questions on January 1: What will this new year bring? Perhaps each of us, in our own language, is wondering if this is finally the year when our dreams are fulfilled and our prayers are answered: Is this the year . . .

  • that will bring me and my family good health and happiness?
  • financial security will finally be mine?
  • my crops will flourish?
  • our government will stabilize?
  • peace will finally come to our land?
  • justice will prevail?
  • I’ll get the job I have been dreaming about all my life?
  • clean water will be a shorter distance from my home?
  • I’ll find my life-long love?
  • my children will laugh and play without fear of illness or violence?
  • we’ll join forces to heal the damage done to our injured planet?
  • I’ll know there is a God who cares about me and what happens in this world?

Is this the year? I need it to be the year. I think we all need it to be the year when goodwill floods the earth and civility becomes the norm. We need it to be the year when the hungry are fed and the homeless are sheltered. We need to know that evil will be driven back into the shadows by the goodness that lives in the human heart; the goodness that has been so carefully placed there by our loving Creator.

Our world needs you, your donors, and your great organization or ministry to become even more of what is right with the world. May it be so in 2023!

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