Into the New Year

Of course with a New Year’s resolution

Once again we are standing at the beginning of a new year and are looking ahead; perhaps anxiously, doubting and fearful.  We cannot influence many external factors.  And we all know how difficult it is to reach the goals we have set for ourselves.  For example, statistically speaking we are bound not to reach our New Year’s resolutions.  Perhaps it would be better to evaluate whether our view of life requires a change of perspective.  Or should we concentrate on behavioural patterns that have been in our quiver for years, i.e. nothing new, just the old improved.

On the above picture taken in 1962 you can see our family.  My parents were hard-working bakers who were welded together by the sufferings of and flight during The War and of course by love.  The following scene that often occurred after lunch is imbedded in my childhood memories.  After the meal my father would head out to distribute bread and bread rolls; but I would not let him get away that easily.  As a little boy – kindergarten age (centre top) – I would affix myself firmly to his leg.  So he would drag me along the kitchen floor; something we both enjoyed!

What I did back then to my father turned into a pattern for my life.  Practical life-philosophy until today.  I affix myself firmly to God with everything that I am and have.  When I pray in the mornings I pour out my thanks and my supplications.  And despite me being persistent and downright obstinate I do not get the impression that I annoy him.  It was neither cultivated piety nor religious compulsion that drove me to God, but simply the lack of alternatives.  Early on in my life I understood that God can perfectly look after my fear of death.  My worries about my wife, my children and even Diospi Suyana left me no alternative as to seek my salvation in God.  And whom should I show my thankfulness, if not to Him!

Jesus once said (in the Gospel of John chapter 15): “I am the vine, without me you cannot do anything!”  The same principle of my childhood is behind this exhortation.  Keep at it, hold tight, hope and do not give up.

In the past Corona-year fear was often literally scrawled across my wife and my faces.  I recall situations when being alone in the car or at home I screamed to God, as though he were deaf.  But looking back I must say that in 2020 God richly poured out his blessings over us and our work.

So in 2021 I will continue to do what has worked in the past.  Affix myself to God’s leg and not let go. /KDJ

(Picture caption: my parents Wanda and Rudolf John sit in the back row, between them is my older sister Gerlinde.  My brother Hartmut is on the left, on our mother’s lap, Helga far right. I myself am standing in the front with long hair – being absolutely trendy, since the Beatles were getting more and more famous.)

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