Monday, December 31, 2012

Inspiration for the New Year

Dorothy and Megan Grace, circa 2005
Photo Credit: Mark Grace

Well, 2012 was a banner year by any standard of judgment.  We managed to dodge several apocalypses.  Now at year's end everyone seems to be more or less in the same place they were when the year started.

Of course this game of The-End-of-the-World-As-We-Know-It appears to be one of the few trends we human beings manage to sustain year in and year out.  

No Armageddon?  Well, step right over here.  How about a nice high Fiscal Cliff to jump off?  If nature or God won't oblige, we'll build our own mini-apocalypse. 

Though I am as overly anxious and prone to panicky obsessions as the next person, in my middle age I seem to have discovered unexpected resources for dealing with the constant excessive preoccupation with disaster that culture and politics keeps throwing my way.

Two of those resources are embodied in the persons of the women pictured above: my daughter, Megan and my mother, Dorothy.

Now 82 years of age, my mother survived the dust bowl years in the Panhandle of Texas and managed her way through the near death and year-long hospitalization of my grandad, Miller Cason.  Though fortunate to survive his milk truck being struck by a train, his body took a long time to mend from its injuries.  Mom and her mother Lena traded 12 hour shifts sitting with him in his hospital room and my mother took on many of the chores of looking after her siblings.

Now she manages a very challenging life with my father, who has mellowed nicely in his old age, but who also suffers from Parkinsons and functional blindness.  Their biggest desire?  To continue to find meaningful ways to serve Christ.

Megan is working hard in Austin, Texas, hustling jobs to make ends meet in an incredibly tough economic climate.  In spite of disappointment and delays on the job front, she brings her best on a daily basis to a very challenging life.  In midst of it all she copes with humor and passion and a deep commitment to learning and growth.  In so many ways I see her carrying forward the legacy that Dorothy is leaving all of us.

Both of these women remind me in different ways of a very basic truth.  Though I can't predict or control what 2013 brings my way, I have more than enough love, determination and faith to deal with what comes.

2013 may or may not be my year to find wealth and fame, to live up to my full potential-whatever that may be.  It may bring disappointment and delay.  Who knows, really? 

I can tell you, however, that because of these two women whom I love and admire more than words can tell, I know that with God's help I have the resources to deal with whatever the New Year brings.

What about you?  Who reminds you, on the cusp of  a new year, that you can meet the challenges that may come your way?  Leave a comment!

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