So – 2023 has arrived and we are already on the treadmill of things that must be done this year. Our calendars have been scrutinized and for many of us, there is a “to do list”, intimidating and challenging but only sometimes inspiring! We in the so-called west seem to attach all too much value to what can be seen to be accomplished, the things we can tick off on the never-ending demands on our time.

One of the quiet joys of old age is that ‘doing’ starts to take second place to ‘being’, moments become more valuable than months and a year is almost too much to contemplate 😊 And when becoming like Christ is the priority of one’s life, the guidelines for living are increasingly oriented towards those around us, their needs, their joys and their sorrows.

In my role as pastor and mentor, I have listened to many a heart’s longings and hurts, and although by nature I am reluctant to give advice, sometimes it has been drawn out of me, only for me to realize later that what I thought was clear and logical, was actually confusing and misleading. This is a very humbling experience! Even through life has taught me to weigh my words and kindness is a quality I value highly, there are times when my human nature still gets the better of me!

Yesterday I sent my German grandson into my garden to pick the one and only protea on the bush right now. I told him he couldn’t miss it –it was the only flower. To my surprise he came back with an agapanthus, newly blooming in purple glory. Only then I realized that this German teenager had never seen one. 😊

My communication was based on assumption. Another fond delusion about myself bites the dust!

So – it’s time to take stock of how I communicate in this year 2023 and make sure that what I say is what someone actually hears!

I wish you, my friends, a rich and thoughtful year.