With just a few hours of 2015 remaining, I am reflecting upon the hours of this year that have passed so quickly.  I am wondering by what standard I should measure these hours spent.  Work, leisure, parties, major events, and quiet moments have all traveled across my mind as I ride this train of memories looking to form a valuation of the year nearly gone.  I have chosen to ask myself this question. What did I give to this year, and what did I receive?  As I contemplated the answer to this question, one word seemed to surface on the lake of my considerations.

This word has surely defined the most notable increase of the year’s activities.  The time I spent with family and friends, on the job, and even my encounters with strangers was affected by this word.  Perhaps the greatest place this increase occurred was in my interactions with God my Father.  I am delighted to find this word so prominent, but I put forth no claim of accomplishment on my own.

The word, as you may have guessed, is love.  I have experienced a greater ability to give and receive love.  Surprisingly, with this greater ability has come peacefulness.  There is indeed a deeper peace in my heart.  I haven’t yet asked those around me if they’ve noticed this.  I may be self-deceived.  I know the peace is there, and I know I feel the love.  I hope it has shown.

This love and peace came about because I asked Jesus.  Looking over the year, I realize he answered my prayer.  I didn’t do anything different.  He worked it in my heart in his gentle, subtle way.  I continued to seek him, and he provided the difference.  I think that recognizing his love for me helped soften my heart.  This provided the larger capacity necessary for the increase.

Well, I certainly haven’t reached the pinnacle.  There is plenty of mountain left to climb, but I now know how it’s done.  Please join me this year in a quest for greater ability to love.  It will greatly please our Heavenly Father, and oh yes, we’ll have deeper peace in our hearts.

I pray God’s blessing for you and yours in 2016.

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