That is a fantastic one to end the year on.
To start the New Year right, you must let go of any old grudges that are weighing you down. Philip Yancey describes forgiveness as an unnatural act and says, 'You don't find dolphins forgiving sharks for eating their playmates. It's a dog-eat-dog world...not a dog-forgive-dog world.' Bitterness comes naturally when you've been hurt, whereas forgiving is supernatural and requires God's enabling grace. But remember, Jesus said, 'If you do not forgive...your Father will not forgive your sins' (Matthew 6:15 NIV).
Humanly speaking, there is not one single reason God should forgive your sins, yet the offences He pardons you for every day far outweigh anything you will ever be asked to forgive others for. By forgiving, you change the whole dynamic. You open the door of a prison where you are both prisoner and jailer, setting yourself and the other person free. Grudges not only isolate you from people who were once friends, they actually shorten your life by producing deadly enzymes that contribute to a host of physical ailments. One man told his counsellor, 'I wish my brother could come to my wedding, but we haven't spoken in years.' The counsellor asked, 'How come?' Pausing, the man replied, 'It sounds ridiculous now, but I don't even remember.' Drifting apart is the natural result of an unforgiving spirit; forgiveness reverses the trend by restoring and healing broken relationships.
It's a medical certainty that forgiveness adds years to your life. As a rule, when you talk to people who've passed the eighty-year mark you find they are at peace with themselves - because they've learned to forgive and let go.
I was very grateful to Mother Nature yesterday when the New Year festivities down at Mount Maunganui were cancelled due to poor weather. Nicole and her friends were wanting me to take them down there for the night, and i didn't want to. She was very moody with me over this issue, but if i am going to be stuck inside because of the rain, i would prefer to be stuck inside my own home for free - rather than spending money on petrol and being stuck inside someone else's home. I also did not like the thought of my 16 year old daughter out on that beach in the rain on New Year's Eve.
All arguments regarding this issue were off once the BOP Times reported that New Years at The Mount had been cancelled so - THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE.
Now, at least i get to sit in the comfort of my own home and worry about her out at a party all night, tonight.
Speaking of forgiveness. I ran into Fred at the local supermarket a few weeks ago. She was looking down at her phone or something as i walked past her, and i nearly did just keep walking. It took a good ten seconds (which is a long time when you are walking past someone) to decide whether or not to say hello - but i did. We had a little chat, and she told me about her and my step father's trip to Boise to visit my sister in November. Then we said bye, and i carried on to do my shopping.
This afternoon i have phoned her and asked if her and my stepfather feel like getting together for a BBQ.
T is going to get to meet my mother this New Years Eve.
Wish me luck. My sister made sure that the ink on her marriage certificate was dry before her husband - Tim - was allowed to meet my mum!
Forgiveness - that is how i am ending 2011.
Happy New Year you lot. Thank you to everyone who made my 2011 such a wonderful year. Stay safe out there in this wild weather, and lets all hope those Mayan people got it wrong!