Words of Wisdom: Turning the page to a better chapter in 2018

WELL, that’s 2017 done. The world didn’t end in 2017 as predicted and predicted AGAIN for 2018. 

The only thing I know will end in 2018 is 2017. That’s good because I can’t even spell Armageddon; but I’m sure that’s not the end of the world. 

Unfortunately 2017 was my financial “Armageddon ripped off”!  I wrote-off not one but two cars. Actually, I didn’t; it was a couple of kangaroos that wrote them off. Unfortunately, dead kangaroos are hard to sue. 

Then in August a mate offered me a business deal telling me “You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!” He was right. I was laughing all the way to the bank. But then I got to the bank and checked my bank account and it was empty! I was crying all the way home. He should have warned me about the trip home! 

Now I’m worried this close to New Year’s Eve I still don’t know the words to Auld Lang Syne. The only line I can ever remember is “Should old acquaintance be forgot”. 

But something’s bugging me, something ain’t right. My best friend told me the word in the first line isn’t even “old” but “auld” (whatever that means). Turns out the only line of the song I know ... I don’t know!

Singing Auld Lang Syne at midnight New Year’s Eve makes no sense. 

So I’ve been musing instead of everybody singing Auld Lang Syne - a song everybody pretends they know but doesn’t know - why don’t we all sing a song everyone pretends they don’t know, but do - like Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go! It’s appropriate for those who accidentally fell asleep, once-a-year night owls, and sleepy New Year’s resolutions. 

Seriously, the end of year also reminds us of those we lost this year and the number of years passed since the loss of loved ones. 

The deep sorrow death brings also brings many questions about death and therefore life. Some questions will not be answered this year, next year, nor in this lifetime.

There are things that happen in life so tragic that nobody can explain to you why, and avoid the person who tries.  

In such times we need to hang on to our faith in all that is good like at no other time. 

When great suffering enters our life, one thing always happens: the road before us forks. The road divides and becomes two very different roads that lead towards two very different destinations. Suffering either makes us bitter, or it makes us better. Sometimes it makes us bitter first and then better.  

For peace of mind, it is always better to stay off the road of bitterness even from the beginning. 

It’s a truism, but, you have to end a year when it ends. 

If 2017 was a good year you don’t want to spend 2018 too wrapped up in 2017, living in the past. 

If 2017 was disappointing, even tragic, then even more reason to let it go. Imagine reading a book where you just finished chapter 17 and now you’re in chapter 18 but you keep re-reading chapter 17 again at the same time.

Would your understanding of chapter 18 be confused? You bet. 

I think that’s why so many of us are not always optimistic about the current chapter we’re living because we’re still re-reading sections of previous years at the same time. 

The past does not equal the future. 

Every saint has a past, and every failure has a future. 

Happy 2018 my friends. 

FATHER BRENDAN LEE, Twitter: @frbrendanelee