Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year/New Focus

New Year's of 1991 my father-in-law happened to be with us.

My whole life we had the same meal for New Year's Day:

Pork Chops
Black Eyed Peas
Cabbage (or Collard Greens)
Tomato Gravy
And Corn Bread

Although we have always been told that they had certain meanings (Pork for good luck-Black Eyed Peas for pocket change-Cabbage or Greens for dollars) we just simply enjoyed the meal.

So on that New Year's in 1991 I fixed the meal for my father-in-law. He was amazed, never knowing there was such a tradition. But he liked it none the less.

Every New Year's from then on I would get a call, "Now, what does the cabbage mean?"

And we would go down the list, ending with the tomato gravy. My answer was always "It goes good with pork chops!"

Here we are, another New Year has begun. My Mom cooked today. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what we had to eat.

But instead of tomato gravy we had fried sweet potatoes. They were delicious, but I felt the lose of my tomato gravy.

I thought of my father-in-law today, as I have on this day every year since he passed away. I thought about how much he would have enjoyed his grandchildren at the ages they are now.

I am glad I could share part of my family traditions with him and that he thought enough of me to adapt the tradition himself.

I am looking forward today to the year that lies ahead. I don't need a pork chop to provide me with good fortune, I know I have been blessed by God's grace and mercy.

I usually don't make resolutions, but I do plan to change some things this year. I want to switch my focus and find more ways to be the person I need to be. I want to gain wisdom and godliness.

I know that eating 5 pork chops, a pot of black eyed peas and a truck load of cabbage will not really make me rich or secure a year filled with happiness.

I also know that if I increase my time in the Word, increase my prayer time, fast more, that I will gain the spiritual strength I need to overcome whatever 2008 has in store for me and mine.

And although I know people who are stagnant in the traditions of old, I am glad that I know those traditions cannot save you. I am thankful that by being able to set aside some traditions I was able to find a more perfect way.

Lord, I want this to be the best year yet for my walk with You. I want to become closer than I ever have before. I want that wisdom that comes only from Your Word. Oh, that I may know You more.

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