Like you, I have hopes and dreams that I want to see realized in the months and years to come. I don’t know that I make resolutions per se, but I do try to make priorities so as to better guide me in my life.
Welcome to a new year and a new decade! I am looking forward to 2020 and I hope you are as well. I sense a tremendous amount of excitement, optimism, and hope as we anticipate what is to come in the year ahead. It is, with the turn of the calendar, an opportunity to begin again and to write a new chapter.
Since we are marking a new decade too, I spent a few moments reflecting over the last 10 trips around the sun. And what a ride it was! In 2010, Abigail and I were living in Wetumpka, Alabama and it was just the two of us. I was serving as the senior minister at First United Methodist Church there and she was in pharmaceutical sales. I was finishing up my dissertation at the University of Alabama and we were the classic “Double Income No Kids” couple. From 2010 to the end of 2019, we had three children, Alexis, Addison, and Jordan. We made five moves and lived in four different homes. We traveled to some beautiful places and juggled work and raising a family.
At the start of 2020, we are thrilled to be in Panama City, back along the beautiful Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at First United Methodist Church of Panama City and for now, Abigail is enjoying spending time at home raising the children. We are close to my hometown of Wewahitchka and we anticipate Abigail’s parents moving somewhere in the panhandle over the next year. As to what the next ten years would look like, truly God only knows.
Like you, I have hopes and dreams that I want to see realized in the months and years to come. I don’t know that I make resolutions per se, but I do try to make priorities so as to better guide me in my life. The New Year is an excellent opportunity to take stock of how I am spending my time and my resources. These guiding principles – of trying to take care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually; of spending time with family and friends; of developing my hobbies and interests further; of pushing myself to continue to learn new things; of continuing to walk alongside those in our community as we recover and rebuild; and of looking for the beauty in this journey we call life – will set a trajectory that I hope will lead to the best year yet.
I hope you and your family have a blessed, healthy, and happy New Year in 2020 as well. In the days ahead, pause and reflect on where you have been and where you would want to go as you look to the future. All of us know, all too well, that life will take twists and turns along the way that we do not expect and cannot foresee. The elements of life that are in our control are very few. To that end, our attitudes and our efforts are in our hands and we have the opportunity to put forward our best each day.
So as the New Year of 2020 begins, I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold, “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes!”
Dr. Jeremy K. Pridgeon is the senior minister of the First United Methodist Church of Panama City. If you have a “Glory Sighting” that you would like to share, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.