— From the 2012 Holiday Issue —


“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Philippians 3:l3

The month of January is said to be named after Janus, a Roman mythical god of gates and doorways with two faces looking in opposite directions, according to the Webster II New College Dictionary.

Although the Bible verse quoted above states we should forget about the past, many of us, including myself, have stored so many memories of the past in our minds, which I refer to as my “attic.” There are happy things that have happened in the previous years that are impossible to forget, such as a desired job promotion, a wonderful vacation and meeting new people. The same is true of the sad things that have happened, such as the passing of a loved one, a serious accident or a misfortune happening to a dear friend.

Between the ages of six to ten years, the house my family and I lived was owned by Butler’s Feed Mill. The company was right across the street from our house. My father would take me every month to Butler’s to pay the rent. Mrs. Butler was the office manager of the company and was so pleasant. She was such a  a beautiful lady with a cameo complexion and lovely red hair. She would always greet me with, “Well, how is little Margaret today?” I just loved her and would go visit her a few times a month by myself. She would give me a glass of milk and two homemade oatmeal cookies whenever I visited her.

One Christmas, Mrs. Butler surprised me with a miniature carpet sweeper, much to my sheer delight! Every time Mama would clean house, I would follow her from room to room with my carpet sweeper and pretend to make a clean sweep. To this day, this memory is stored in my attic.

Sometimes tragedy happens right in the beginning of the new year in the month of January and we sometimes wonder, “Why? Where was God?” We must learn, however, to make a clean sweep of all the unhappiness and tragedies in life and also be grateful for the joy and happiness He gives us.

Making New Year’s resolutions to me is a farce. In an “Elements of Supervision” course in college, the professor gave us a lecture on how and why we should plan our activities in the best way we can. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I have taken Professor Hill’s advice and I daily “plan the work” and “work the plan.” Of course, at times my plan is blocked due to unavoidable circumstances, but on the average, the plan has been successful, or should I say, “Mission accomplished.”

Best wishes for a wonderful, blessed holiday season. May you have a healthy and prosperous 2013 and a CLEAN SWEEP in all your future endeavors. AMEN.

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