We made a few big decisions, some of which have proven to be good. For some, of course, we still await the verdict.
And all the while, the age-old conundrums mock us - "Why is everything so hard?" or "Why do bad things happen to good people?" or "Why is there so much suffering in the world?".
As I ponder such questions, my worldview quietly yet firmly reminds me: "Mike, that's just the way it is this side of the Resurrection".
But my worldview also has that oh-so-special shape, and it's precisely that shape that continues to get me up in the morning, that continues to fuel my pursuits and that continues to brighten in one way or another even the darkest of moments.
As we've discussed so many times, the Judeo-Christian worldview is shaped like a ray (to be mathematically correct). It started deep in the will of God in the eternal past, it played out in the adventures of God's people throughout ancient times and it became so very clear back there in the 1st century.
Then for those of us with "ears to hear" it continues to shape our lives today, and the coolest part is that it promises an absolutely AMAZING future - unparalleled as far as I'm concerned by any other worldview.
Messiah's good friend John saw that shape, and wrote so perfectly in his Revelation about the Kingdom that's yet to come, the Kingdom we have a part in building and the Kingdom that will make all things New.
My encouragement to you is to let the hope of that Kingdom break in to your outlook for today and for all of 2012. Start the new year resolving to build his Kingdom with all the gifts, talents and strengths you were created with, and then actually spend 2012 doing it.
There's a world full of possibilities for your tomorrow. The huge bonus is that, as the Great Story goes, the product of your 2012 can actually last into that Resurrection Kingdom.
A year well-spent, with results that last forever - what's not to like?
Father, remind us in 2012 of the beauty of the Age to come. Give us the strength and the self-control to build the beauties of that Age, as much as we can, into the year ahead.