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Christmas is a new start – it signifies new hope and new opportunities.

The world has programmed people into believing that we can be happy and solve all our problems by owning more stuff and buying more things. We live in a “Quick Fix” delusion. We have bought into the Instant Gratification, get-rich-quick, I-deserve-it, entitlement fantasy, and we are paying the price with our happiness.

And so we spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people who don’t care and don’t notice, and those things end up owning us. And we just get unhappier. We focus on what we don’t have, on our burdens, instead of our blessings. And we become more and more selfish. We don’t new things; we need a new perspective.

“Only old people talk about sickness and pain and visit hospitals and go to funerals and go to church,” I heard one Millennial bleat. You may not know how to enjoy the blessings while enduring the burdens. But most old people do.

Have you noticed how the elderly appreciate the sunshine and flowers and birds and small children and animals? How little we need? How we’re happy to buy used cars, drive old cars, and focus on what is going right instead of what is going wrong? Yes, and we’ve stopped trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” We don’t really care what people think about us anymore. We say what we think.

That’s because as we older, we tend to get wiser, and in retrospect, we can see how many of our troubles were, in fact, preparation. We decided that we can choose to get bitter, or better, and that, regarding struggles, “this, too, will pass.” We have the perspective of time and experience. We go back to church – more importantly, to God. And we have learnt to see new opportunities, not through the lens of past failures, but the lens of new strengths and skills and better business partners.

And we have achieved an eternal perspective, too: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4).

You don’t have to be my ripe old age to realize this because it’s all in the Bible. There are some great people and solid opportunities out there, and it’s never too late to start over.

Robin Elliott   IPSsafety.com

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