One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is the ability to reflect, celebrate with those around us, and give thanks to those who made our year meaningful.
Think about the past 12 months. What went well? What didn’t go well? How did you move forward? Surely there were good times and there were bad times, but man, what a road it’s been. How many different things have you experienced and learned? What’s changed for you?
Think about all the different areas of your life.
Maybe this was your year professionally. Maybe you were really in the groove and things were really working out for you. Maybe you came out of COVID and your business is recovering… maybe it’s all just really coming back for you.
Maybe you started a special relationship. Maybe you’ve finally found the person you’ve been looking for and it’s going really well. You’ve got that loving feeling, right? That’s fantastic.
Or what if this year you reached your financial goals? You got the job, the promotion, the raise, found a great partner at work you can confide in and trust. You’re fitting in and things are going well, you’ve got a good work-life balance. If that’s been happening for you this year, that’s incredible. Take a moment to cherish it.
Maybe this was your year to improve your network or develop a new circle of friends. Maybe you made a new best friend or got involved in a new group. Maybe there was someone who helped bring out the best in you. That’s special.
Maybe this was the year where you took a look at your family life and put in the effort to reconnect. Reconnecting with your family is powerful, reconnecting with your mom, your dad, your spouse, your son, your extended family. Maybe you made amends, maybe you were able to heal some of the hurt in your relationships. That’s powerful.
Maybe this was your year to take better care of your health. Maybe you got back on track with your exercise program and your nutrition plan. Maybe you’ve made awesome progress, your clothes fit better, and you’ve been working on healing yourself from the inside out – all those good things that come alongside healthy living. If that’s been happening for you, I want to personally congratulate you. Carry that energy through to the next season.
Whatever this year looked like for you, as you go into the next one, try to do something where you give back. Find a way to help someone. As you climb the mountain of life, you’re sure to reach a plateau from time to time. When this happens, turn around, grab the hand of the person behind you, and pull them up. The view from the top will look so much better if it’s shared with someone else.
Helping someone out can be as simple as a call of encouragement or dropping off a small gift. It could be driving them to the airport or whipping up a home-cooked meal. Whatever the case, it doesn’t have to be a grand endeavor to make a big difference in someone’s day.
We hear this often: “If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.” While this sentiment is great, imagine how beautiful the world would be if we did kind things for people without them having to ask. This next year, I encourage you to take action.
And if this year has been the toughest one ever, if you took a look at the above list and said, “Man, Terry, I really didn’t fit into any of those categories. This year was just curveball after curveball. I didn’t expect to lose my job, I didn’t expect my parents to pass away or my health to take a turn for the worse,” then I sincerely hope this next year brings you the breath you need and the space and time to heal.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Why did this happen to me? I didn’t do anything to deserve this.” You might be a little mixed up. Maybe you’ve lost track of yourself and the right path forward. Maybe you’re not sure if 2022 even has anything to offer you at all… let alone something good.
If you’re feeling that way, the following is for you.
I first heard this piece when I was a little kid. My mom would always read it at church, and I’m sharing it with you because this is the first holiday season my mom will be with my dad. So mom, this is for you, too.
The poem is A Touch of the Master’s Hand by Myra Brooks Welch.
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile; “What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?” “A dollar, a dollar”; then two!” “Only
two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three
dollars twice; going for three..” But no, from the room, far back, a
gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust
from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody
pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
said; “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make
it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and
gone,” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not
quite understnad what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch
of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A
“mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game – and he travels on. “He is
going” once, and “going twice, He’s going and almost gone.” But the Master
comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul
and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
This is a story for all of us. As we look at our lives and we’re battered and bruised, feeling like we don’t have any value or worth, simply a touch of the master’s hand can change it all for the better.
I wish you all the happiness this holiday season, and hope it follows you throughout the coming new year.