Here it is, a brand new year and time to think about the changes we'd like to make in our lives over the next 365 days, and while I don't actually make New Years resolutions it is a good time for reflection on the past and meditation on the future.
I would like to become a better Christian in the coming year. I think that I will always have room for improvement in that category, so it will probably be a perennial part of my wish list.
I want to be a better citizen, an ambition whose mechanizations seem to constantly be in flux in a world that now has the capacity to change quickly with seemingly minor issues becoming urgent priorities overnight.
I want to be a better employer. I have 30 employees; many of them have been with me for over 30 years. They're loyal, efficient and hard working with the kind of devotion and attention to detail that makes the CDB operate like a well-oiled machine and my working life orderly and productive.
I want to be a better husband. I've had 48 years of practice but there's always room for improvement.
I want to be a better father and will continue to try to find ways to do it, to give better advice, to be a better role model.
I want to be a better grandfather, but if not spoiling my grandchildren is required, I doubt I'll ever get around to it.
I'd love to be a better horseman, get more in tune with the horses I ride, post a trot perfectly, get into absolute rhythm with their gaits and read all the quirks of the individual animals. I'd like to become one with them as I put them through their paces, but I can never seem to find enough saddle time to refine my riding to that point.
I'd really like to be a better golfer, but after years of swing changes, posture adjustments and other frustrating makeovers that never seem to work I'm just about ready to give up on that.
Time after time I tell myself, this will be the year I'll finish my biography, but it seems that all I ever get done is to add a few more memories a few more pages and then, with the best intentions kick the can on down the road again.
I want to be a better friend. I truly love my friends and would like to be the one they could depend on for moral support and wise council, the one who is going to be there when everybody else has gone on their way.
I'd really like to be a better pistol shot, the guy who can put six rounds into a silver dollar at twenty five paces, to cut a lead pencil in half from 30 feet but that takes a lot of range time, and I spend a lot of my time in places where guns are forbidden, so I guess I'll just have to pop off a few rounds when I can and be content with the results.
I have a burning desire to be a better fisherman, to always know which bait works best, the exact millisecond when to set the hook, to make the fly hit the water at the exact spot every time and never let the big ones get away.
The list sounds long and laborious, even to me, and the elements have their places of priority in the order of my good intentions but they're all worthwhile and worthy of consideration at this time of new beginnings.
Let's face it folks, we're all just works-in-progress, dreamers of dreams with a head full fantasies, well intentioned, self effacing citizens of a nation where dreams really do come true and we serve a God who gives us our heart's desires.
So let's go easy on ourselves. Let's face it, when we finally get to where we're going and look back over our pasts, more than victories and accomplishments, we will remember the journey.
Let's make it a pleasant memory.
Happy New Year my friends!
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and for the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America