Everyone can enjoy the sleep of ages

Published 6:28 am Wednesday, December 27, 2023

By Steve Stricker

Sunday, December 31, 2023, New Year’s Eve – a mere four days away.  “Are you ready” has great meaning to Ole Miss fans – but are you, me, ready for 2024?  Tis going to happen with or without our preparation, but how have we prepared – did we evaluate our performance in 2023 – what do we need to change, add?

So, how was your Christmas, wonderful, or disappointed as usual, much money spent, your gifts not appreciated, and gifts received not meeting your expectations?

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Monday, January 1, 2024 you might feel the effects of celebrating the night before but won’t feel 2023 transitioning to 2024 at midnight – the same way the world didn’t feel BC (Before Christ,) change to AD, (Anno Domini) “In the Year of our Lord” the instance baby Jesus was born, splitting time again this past Monday on Christmas but the impact of his birth then and now is, huge!

Last Thursday, December 21 at 9:27 pm was another major change in the cycle of Mother Nature, not felt, but huge impact on our Earth – Winter Solstice, (Latin meaning, “to stand still”) that is, the first day of Winter as the sun traveled as far South as possible, lowest in the sky, shortest day of the year, and appeared to stop, then as on a giant rubber band, rebounded back North with new hope of longer days and Spring.

By the way, Friday, January 5, (celebrated Sunday January 7) is the 12th day of Christmas, Epiphany, and official day to take down our Christmas decorations.  Christmas day was day one (Partridge in a Pear Tree,) and day 12, (12 Drummers Drumming) – more on this next week.

An epiphany is a sudden experience of something becoming clear, a paradigm shift in one’s thinking – a gestalt! Sunday’s Epiphany is the commemoration of the Magi (three kings) arriving in Bethlehem and manifesting to the world that this baby (Jesus) is an incarnate divine being (taking on human flesh) born of the human Virgin Mary, and immaculately conceived by the Holy Spirit.

All this is well taken from scripture, but we have to do it in real time.  Your, our, largest challenge of the new year – first, to let go of those who have really hurt us this past year, no, I mean turned our lives upside down, ripped our hearts in wo, shoved us to our lowest depths, or we will never experience the relief of true forgiveness given to us from our Lord and God!

Of course this is not easy, being born again is painful, birth residue left behind, but if you profess to be a faith person, that is, when things are going swell, much more is expected of you when it isn’t going well – God’s will not yours, a new faith, new life! Especially challenging is if you have lost a precious relationship this time of year – are you blaming God?  Stop!  If  you in faith give your life to God, then in faith know that God has a reason for this loss which might not be made clear to you until you meet him face to face at your predetermined end.

Do you find all this faith stuff difficult, then perhaps you don’t possess true faith. Empty yourself.  Get rid of all that gunk and open yourself to God – not easy, but you will feel a peace never before experienced and sleep the sleep of ages.

Having said all that stuff – GO REBELS, BEAT PENN STATE IN THE PEACH BOWL!!!

Steve is an Oxford resident, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss and can be reached at sstricke@olemiss.edu.