As I look back on 2014, there are several moments that stand out: Tamara lost her first tooth, my newest niece was born, Emily learnt to roller-skate and we visited some Inca ruins with my parents. However, if I had to sum the year up in just one word that word would be “busy”. We were busy in the health centre, treating patients with leg ulcers. I was busy at home, teaching my girls their daily lessons. The sewing group was busy making items for sale. I was busy starting a girls´ club and introducing them to the delights of camping. My husband built three houses for poor families and started on a fourth. I wrote and published a book. The year has flown by in the blink of an eye.
One of the realities I have been reflecting on this year is the brevity of life. Just this week a grandfather in the village died. On their way home from the wake, his niece Estela and her family crashed on their motorbike and her husband and seven-year-old daughter died. Tragically, years before, Estela´s previous husband and son also died in a similar accident. The frequent accidents and loss of life here have forced me to face up to the uncertainty of life and the shortness of our days on earth. I feel the need to seize the day, to make the most of each and every opportunity and not to put off until tomorrow what I can do today. This sense of urgency contributes to my chronic busyness. For me in 2014, God has been first and foremost the God who is with me, willing and able to help me, no matter what the circumstances. I have tried to do all I can with the gifts He has given me.
As I begin 2015, I find myself reflecting on what it means to live life in the light of eternity. Yes life is brief, but I believe in a life to come that is very long! What will continue for all eternity is my relationship with God and with my fellow men. How should that affect how I live each and every day? Do I just pay lip service to a belief in heaven, or am I making my decisions about what I do and how I use my time based on my faith? Does eternity shape my here and now? Is “busy” the best use of my time, or should eternity be shaping my priorities more? Should my life be about helping as many people as possible, or investing deeper in my relationships with those around me?So, as the New Year begins, the festivities end and work recommences, I am making “eternal” my word for 2015. In my family, in my friendships and in my work I will try to do and say those things that have eternal value as I seek to discern the path ahead.
Ecuadorean New Year Traditions.....
The Widows of the Old Men who beg for money in the streets!!