Dear God
Off the Wall, December 29, 2016

Well folks, it’s that time of the year again. You know exactly what I’m talking about – New Year’s resolution time!

I can just see it now. Some people are shaking their head back and forth from left to right all the time thinking, “Not for me, Pee Vee.”

But, in my opinion, I think the majority of citizens of this fine country are mentally, if not physically, forming some kind of list hoping to make things just a little bit better for 2017.

No one realizes more than me that we aren’t as young as we used to be. So we can’t all dream up improvements that aren’t realistic. As strange as it sounds, as a senior citizen, I have to start planning for old age insights, if there is such a term.

But let’s forgot about this age group and call attention to those who may be a bit younger, and yes, that means from the early twenty’s on up.

I’ve made several observances over this past year that I thought people might deliberate upon and maybe think twice before using certain behavioral traits that could be improved.

Resolution Number One – Calmly talk to others whether you are making a declarative or interrogative statement.

Think first before you speak in a screaming fashion. I know you’ve heard this expression more times than enough, but it applies here – “There are always two sides to a story.” It goes without saying that if one thinks the other person has wronged another, wouldn’t it be better and easier to first ask if one actually did commit an act rather than screaming at an individual for doing an alleged wrong?

Case in point, “Patricia, who gave you his phone number? That number’s not supposed to be given out. How did you get? How did you get it?” When she answered the phone one Thursday morning, the screaming by the individual calling was startling for the middle-aged woman to handle. Patricia calmly responded by stating, “I asked the operator for it and she gave it to me.” With that the screamer hung up.

Resolution Number Two – Don’t assume.

That’s another set of words that one has heard over and over again. Yet, I have to stipulate, few people, in my opinion, give them much thought. Take the case of Kevin. Time and time again he has found himself being bawled out for doing wrong, when no one ever told him the right thing to do.
“Why did you give Fido that kind of dog food? You know it’s not good for him.” “You’ve left my clothes in the dryer too long. Go back and wash them over!” “You did what? That was stupid!” Don’t blame others for your own shortsightedness.

Resolution Number Three – Appreciate God’s Blessings.

We, in this country, are blessed with an abundance of materialistic wealth. We have taken to the habits of thanking others for everything we’ve received or talked up the facts about our latest purchases. But consider this. We would have nothing if God hadn’t blessed us somehow.

Look around you as you sit reading The Latrobe Bulletin. You have things everywhere you look. All that you see were made possible because of God’s blessings to you. Don’t just appreciate everything you have, both visibly and invisibly, but praise and thank God for these gifts. He has seen to it that you are happy possessing something others may not have. Let Him know you are grateful by telling Him so.

Resolution Number Four – Dear God Letters.

Every year during the beginning of December, children have spelled out with pen on paper what they want for Christmas. This has been a tradition for more years than any of us can remember. Most of the time not only the kids but adults, too, get what they ask for. And that is that.

But, let’s take it one step further. Not only at Christmas, but also throughout the year, let’s make it a habit for both young and old alike to write a letter to God, thanking Him for all the blessings He has given each of us. Then at the end of the week, possibly when we go to church, we can bow down to Him and thank Him for the things on the list He’s done for us.

One just may need to go to church earlier than usual as a result that there are many more blessings than one may think that He gives us each day.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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