January 7, 2024 - Episode #4921


Conductor: Mack Wilberg

Organist: Richard Elliott

“Join We Now In Praise and Sing”

Music: Spanish melody

Lyrics: William E. Hickson

Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“If The Savior Stood Beside Me”

Music and Lyrics: Sally DeFord

Arrangement: Sam Cardon

“I Sing The Mighty Power of God”

Music: English melody

Lyrics: Isaac Watts
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Norwegian Rustic March” (organ solo)

from Lyric Pieces, op. 54

Music: Edvard Grieg
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“This Little Light of Mine”

African American spiritual

Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“We Thank Thee, Lord, For This New Day”

Music: Mack Wilberg

Lyrics: David Warner

“I Will Follow God’s Plan”
Music and Lyrics: Vaja Y. Watkins

Arrangement: Nathan Hofheins

“The Morning Breaks”
Music: George Careless
Lyrics: Parley P. Pratt
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

Lyrics: attr. Robert Keen

Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

Spoken Word

Reflect and Anticipate

January 7, 2024

By: Lloyd D. Newell

It takes the Earth a little more than 365 days to circle the sun. Over the centuries, we’ve come to see the completion of one of those orbits and the beginning of a new one as a kind of fresh start for our lives. We use a new year to reflect on the past and anticipate the future. We ask ourselves, what have I learned? How have I changed? Who have I helped—even in small and simple ways? And what are my goals for the coming year?

Of course, much is beyond our control. There are some aspects of our lives that we can’t change any more than we can change the weather or the rotation of the Earth. We might face circumstances that seem to put us at an unfair disadvantage. With all the uncertainty around us, how can we anticipate a bright future?

Maybe there’s an answer in Aesop’s fable of the race between the tortoise and the hare. With his strong legs and long stride, the hare started fast, sprinting ahead of the sluggish tortoise. Once he had a safe lead, the hare lay down to indulge in a little nap. Slowly and surely, one step at a time, the tortoise crept past the sleeping hare and won the race.

The moral of the story is expressed in this line of scripture: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.”[1] Whatever our strengths or weaknesses, our advantages or disadvantages, we win because we never give up. We succeed because we “run with patience the race that is set before us,”[2] whatever that race might be.

Some call it a growth mindset—focusing not on our innate abilities but on our potential to grow through hard work and perseverance. The Lord said it this way to His followers: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples.”[3] It’s not how you start the race that matters; it’s how you finish.

So as the Earth starts another slow and steady trip around the sun, it’s a good time to reflect on where we’ve been. But we shouldn’t let that put any limits on where we’ll go next.

[1] Ecclesiastes 9:11.

[2] Hebrews 12:1.

[3] John 8:31; emphasis added.