Dear God,

     What will the New Year bring? We’ll see.

     There’s a parable I’ve read many times over the years which helps me to place all things in perspective and look at life with a sense of allowing your hand to shape my days. I’ll share it with you as I look at this New Year:

              Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn’t have a lot of money, and instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.

One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, “Oh, what a horrible thing to happen.” The farmer simply said, “We’ll see.” He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave him a new horse as a gift.

Everyone’s reaction to the new gift was to exclaim what a lucky man he was. And the farmer again said, “We’ll see.”

A couple of days later, the new horse jumped the fence and ran away. Everyone in the village shook their heads and said, “What a poor fellow!” The farmer again smiled and said, “We’ll see.”

The horse eventually returned, leading two wild horses with it. Everyone in the town exclaimed, “What a lucky man!” Once again, the farmer simply said, “We’ll see.”

A few years later the farmer’s boy was riding one of the wild horses. The horse fell, throwing the boy and leaving him with a broken leg. The community responded with words of sadness for the family, but the farmer looked at them with now familiar words: “We’ll see.”

Two days later the army came into the village to draft new recruits for the war. When they saw the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they decided not to recruit him.

Everyone said, “What a fortunate man you are.”

The farmer said, once again, “We’ll see…”

      I think of this parable as we enter the new year, Lord. My tendency has been to think any given event is the “end of the story”, but in fact, most stories play out on a long, long timeframe. Help me to trust in your constant presence as you shape my future and guide my decisions.

     Thank you for another year with my wife, children, and friends. Thank you for another year of ministry here at the Old Stone Church, for being the congregation’s and your representative to our Rockton and South Beloit Police & Fire Departments.

     As my childhood priest, Fr. Whelan, would always pray, “Lord, mind my heart and guide my lips that I might rightfully proclaim your Gospel in all I do.”

     As always, thanks for listening. I love you.

      Pastor Dan

Pastoral Pondering January 2020