Posé: A pause or rest stop along the Voyageurs' portage trail. Usually about ½ mile apart. We invite you to take a pause in your day to reflect and pray with us.  

 When I was younger, I loved New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve meant getting dressed up and hanging out with family and friends. It meant eating sweets and drinking soda. It meant watching the NYC New Year's celebration on TV and seeing how they were going to configure the numbers of the New Year into glasses. And, it meant straining to keep my eyes open as we counted in the New Year.

"3...2...1...Happy New Year!"

"Counting in" isn't quite how I would describe my experience of New Year's Eve today. New Year's now means turning over a new leaf, making a resolution to be better, and celebrating the survival of a third of our winter months.  There is nothing wrong with these new connotations; the enthusiasm for the New Year is still there.  As I have grown older, however, it seems that instead of excitingly  "counting in" the New Year, we are harshly "counting it out."

"3...2...1...Goodbye 2014!"

In Ecclesiastes 3, we read, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance..." King Solomon is very thorough in his examples but capstones with this: "He has made everything suitable for its time."

As we celebrate 2015, it is my prayer that we meditate on these eight words: "He has made everything suitable for its time." Give thanks, past, present and future. Celebrate goals, the ones you have checked off your list and the ones you hope to accomplish. Lift up the joys and sorrows of the past year and use them as walking sticks as we trek on forward. Find peace knowing that as we turn to the page, we are adding to an already excellent story.

We are made new in Christ so that we may learn from the past and move forward in sharing the Good News. Happy New Year!

-Alex Loveland 

Maplewood, MN 

VLM Staff 2010, 2011, 2012