Wishing for a blessed new year

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

What did you accomplish in 2013 – a new house, new car, new job or success in your field of work?

None of the above necessarily defines success. As humans, we tend to place too much value on the secular and mundane successes of our lives. In today’s economy, there are still many people unemployed and struggling with house payments, car payments, groceries, insurance, etc. This does not necessary signal failure as many are caught in situations that are not of their doing.

Community Columnist Sandra Thames is encouraging locals to remember what matters this year. (Contributed)

Community Columnist Sandra Thames is encouraging locals to remember what matters this year. (Contributed)

In 2014, we need to individually do our best to ease the hardships of others. Volunteering to help in problematic situations, stocking the church pantry, being more understanding and charitable and generally helping others would seem the way to being truly successful. The new year is likely to be pretty gloomy for some, but if we set just a few goals based upon giving of ourselves to help others, then perhaps 2014 will indeed be a successful and rewarding year.

As Christians, we have to be aware everyday of the gift of Jesus. Don’t forget what he accomplished in a little over 30 years and all that he suffered just for us.

Sometimes we allow ourselves a “pity party” of “what ifs” and “could have beens.” Often times, life can seem kind of scary and be unknown territory for us. Human failures, illness, death, jobs, financial worries and lack of faith can surely hang a heavy load on us.

I’ve decided to cherish this next year, to practice more faith, to rely more on my family, to make more memories and to push myself to be the best I can be.

I challenge each of you to look at your life closely and make a few adjustments for a better atmosphere of “hope and success” for the coming year.

As the late Mrs. Nina Kent said, “I might not be able to do much anymore but I can still pray.” I pray that each of you will have a blessed and successful 2014.