It seems like I just put up my new 2017 calendar, and now I am putting up my 2018 calendar. Life moves by so quickly. Traditionally, it’s a time of reflecting and making resolutions for the new year. I confess that my resolutions rarely last longer than a month or two. Life just seems to get in my way.
For me, 2017 was a year filled with more challenges than normal. The loss of four family members, two surgeries and a nasty fall make me glad to be focusing on the New Year. As I pondered the events of last year, I remembered the 90th birthday party for my sister-in-law, Marceline. Four days of family, friends, good food, memories and laughter filled my heart with new memories and much love.
I realized that even during the challenging times, I was surrounded by family and friends. I believe what we need in this New Year are not resolutions, which get broken, but friends who guide and accompany us during our journey.
The following story was shared with me by one of our residents, Bill Dreese. I do not know the origin of it. My New Year’s prayer for each one of you is that you will hear the gentle sound of the bells ringing as your friends walk with you in this new year.
Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it. From a distance, the horses look ordinary. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.
If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.
Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.
As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.
Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.
Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see. Good friends are like this.....you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.