You may wonder, dear reader, "why 'Wishes' and not 'Resolutions'?"
Well, yours truly has had difficulty with the whole custom of New Year's resolutions. Both the making and the keeping. So, for years now I haven't heeded the old custom.
However, herein I should like to offer some wishes for the new Year of Our Lord (A.D.) 2009. (Hm-m-m! this is the final year we can shorten to "Ought-something"; in this case, Ought-nine.)
FIRST, I wish a blessed year, from beginning to end, for my family and my close friends in Tennessee and Texas (and my Best Man & fraternity Little Brother, Dwight Fillmore, out there in 'Vegas), and for you, too.
I wish for a "normal" weather year for all the globe and especially for Middle Tennessee and South-Central Texas. Part of "normal" would be for precipitation to be within an inch for the year (above or deficit) and within half an inch (above or deficit) for each month. I truly wonder if that has ever happened? Has there EVER been a real, bona-fide "average year" for rainfall in Middle TN or South-Central TX? Oh, for this wish to come true!
I wish for relationships to continue to improve within my family relationships -- and for me to find the strength & wisdom to DO MY PART.
I wish for the Emmaus spiritual renewal movement and its equivalent for inmates, Kairos Prison Ministry, to prosper -- and I don't mean fiscally -- this year and to bring great revitalization to the Body of Christ worldwide.
I wish for the Tennessee Titans to win the 2009 Super Bowl and the San Antonio Spurs to win the 2009 NBA crown. (Oh, and it would be nice if also my beloved S.A. Missions win the '09 Texas League AA Baseball crown!)
Call this my "wish list" for A.D. 2009. Oh, yeah, let me add a wish for the end to all this "politically-correct" alteration of the "King's English"! Don't get me wrong, I endorse some changes of vocabulary, such as avoidance of gender-specific pronouns and the banishment of most pejorative words (except, perhaps, to make a point and make it vigorously). But much of the alteration is foolish, silly or misguided. E.g., just go ahead and keep calling it a "used car" -- "pre-owned" admittedly is a more literally accurate adjective, but it's longer and I'm sure it's a euphemism for a career that's been the butt of jokes and allusions to the untrustworthy: the used-car salesman.
Most of all, I object to the relabeling of historical dates as BCE and CE. There's a REASON why Western history is divided into two parts. The division acknowledges the birth of the man who has had more influence on the subsequent history and culture of Western civilization than any other man. Historians and the general public may not accept Jesus the Nazarene as the Anointed/Messiah/Christ, Son of God and Savior, and they're free to hold such opinion. However, the most able historian cannot deny the impact that this one man has had on everything that happened subsequently in Western civilization. Ancient Romans dated years from the foundation of their city - that's okay for them. Moslems date years from their founder's fleeing from Mecca (A.H. - Anno Hejira - Year of the Flight) - okay for them. So let's retain the dating and cataloguing that's been used for centuries in Europe and America. Let's keep labeling the years as B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini - In the Year of Our Lord).
And may you, dear reader, have a blessed A.D. 2009, and may your good wishes come true in it!
Well now that I think of it, I could simply include a seventh and final wish, one which when it comes true will make my other six superfluous: that this same divine Nazarene return in this two thousand ninth year since His birth (yeah, I'm quite aware that He was actually born in 4 BC or earlier). That He return THIS YEAR and put an end to all the sorry story of humankind's constant search for progress, improvement and the divine -- usually resulting in a worsening of the whole situation. As the Good Book says, "Maranatha!" ("Come soon, Lord!")