Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Christmas and New Year's Eve are past, the vistas of 2007 have passed into history, and we stand on the threshold of a brand new year.
Perhaps you, as I, often think: "If only I had the foresight to know what this year holds of good or ill!" But at the same time we should know that not possessing such foreknowledge is a blessing, indeed. Christ himself, the greatest sage of all time, said: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:34b). We can usually handle each day as it comes, surprising though it may be. It is when we try to probe larger segments of time that we become overwhelmed and thwarted from life's purposes.
With these philosophical thoughts, may you and I face the year 2008 with confidence, grateful to be alive, to be aware and eager to see what the year brings forth.
Speaking of the New Year, celebrations of the old year's passage and another's beginning have been recorded in secular and religious history for at least 4,000 years. The Spring Equinox marked the Babylonian New Year. For the Assyrians, Egyptians, Phoenicians and Persians, the Fall Equinox began the New Year. The ancient Greeks lauded the Winter Solstice as the dawn of the New Year. When the Julian (Roman calendar) was introduced, January 1 started in 153 B. C. Now, 2,161 years later, we still observe January 1 as the beginning of our New Year. Stretching ahead of us for 2008 are the days of this Leap Year, which gives us an added day in February.
What can we expect in 2008, if the days of finite time extend throughout its length?
Another presidential election
come and gone. We will hear promises from presidential hopefuls, weigh
scales of political justice (if there is, indeed, such a standard for
judgment), and as free Americans we will make a choice for the next
Will we be acutely aware
that many issues face
Will we be more aware of critical issues that face our environment, like global warming and scarcity of resources of water, food and fuel? Or shall we go our incognizant way thinking that somehow the problems will resolve themselves without much change in our lifestyles and habits?
The past 100 years have brought
firsts. When our grandparents or great grandparents greeted the New
1908, the first great lighted ball dropped in
Two hundred years ago, on
As 2008 dawns, we have what common sense tells us of foresight, although no crystal ball is available to show us the turn of events in this new year. Hindsight is a better indicator of pitfalls to avoid and good deeds to emulate. May we apply what we know of good will to the days of 2008 and live them out as happily and productively as we are able.
c2008 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Jan. 3, 2008 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Updated August 12, 2009