By Ralphine Major

“ . . . but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13 (New American Standard). Paul’s words in his letter to the Philippians always come to mind at this time of year. The window of time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day seems perfect for reflecting on the year about to end and focusing on a new year about to begin.

Many people set goals to lose weight, exercise more, or get more sleep. Some resolve to do more to help their fellow man, make new friends, and spend more time with “old” friends. Others vow to devote more time to Bible study and prayer, seeking God’s will in their daily life. The tragedies of Gatlinburg’s recent wildfires have, no doubt, caused many people to realize that it is so important to live each day to the fullest.

In 2017, may we all enjoy special moments with family and friends and appreciate the beauty of nature all around us. May we find joy in simple things like a sunrise or sunset, the smell of honeysuckles or rain, and the sound of birds singing or children laughing. God bless and Happy New Year!