It's easy to fall into the trap of rationalizing things that happen to us as "rewards" or "punishments" for things we've done in the past. But I think that's wrong. Every moment that we're drawing breath is an opportunity to find meaning and purpose.
We're responsible for our own actions and our own choices. We have a chance to make new choices with the world we're given.
You know what I really love about the Bible, honestly? All those dysfunctional families. Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and his sons, King David ... just one messed-up family after another.
One more thing I'm hoping to do more in the coming year is travel. I've already mentioned that I expect to be able to do my Africa trip this January. But also, I'd like to see more of the USA.
I really want to see parts of the country I've never visited - Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, for example. Places within a day's drive (or two at the most) but completely foreign to me. Cross the Cascades and it's a whole different world. From the West Coast, they say, you have to go east to get to the West.
If you celebrate, or even if you don't, have a great year. See you in 5776.