Where did time go?
I bet you hear that a lot in these dying days of 2016.
When people around us ask that rhetorical question, it should not alarm or agitate us. Rather, it should serve to remind us that time is one of the most precious commodities we have as humans, which is why we should treat each moment we have with utmost sense of purpose.
So, it is a good thing that the year 2016 is about to roll into the dustbin of history and MAKE WAY for 2017.
What may not be good is that the transition is happening amid palpable mass anxiety, uncertainty and fear. Many are pessimistic about our families, our public institutions, our safety nets, our good neighborliness in the community, and our civic and faith traditions, but should they?
For us at 107-year-old Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM, http://drmm.org), the best way to handle such cloud of pessimism is to:
- Gratefully count the many blessings we enjoyed in 2016;
- Constantly remind ourselves of our purpose as an organization;
- Dutifully enhance our capacity to help more individuals and families; and
- Prayerfully exercise the reasoned hope that there are more blessings (at the Source of all blessings) bearing our name in 2017.
Yes, we choose to be grateful, ready and hopeful – and for pretty good reasons.
Guess what … You too can do likewise. Why not? You have many good things to be grateful for (start counting and you will be amazed). You can find more room in your heart to show compassion to more people around you. And you should be hopeful about your future, especially if you know that God holds it in His powerful hands, and you are hardworking, honest, humble and prayerful.
Despite the many challenges around us, it is most helpful to remember that “our Redeemer liveth.”
It is also important to bear in mind that there are more individuals, families, businesses, groups and agencies that truly appreciate and support our difference-making humanitarian work than those that ignore or seek to undermine it.
We have many individuals and groups on our side – and that’s worth being glaringly thankful and hopeful about.
(If you take the time to count, you will certainly come to the Gehazian realization that you too are not alone; there are many people on your side.)
There is real strength in numbers. There is comfort in being accepted in one’s community. There is motivation in being appreciated and supported in a worthy cause. After all, success hardly happens in seclusion. It often happens in the context of strategic relationships and collaborations.
That’s why we will not stop at gratitude and hope. We will also apply greater diligence and dexterity in strengthening and expanding our relationships and collaborations in ways that will help us meet the varying needs of the thousands of men, women and children we serve each day at our facilities in metro Detroit.
THOUGH YOU MISS THE MARK
One very important lesson many adults learn (especially as one year ends and another begins) is that things do not always work as we plan and hope. Sometimes we gain, sometimes we lose but we should never fail to plan and hope just because we are gripped by the notion of losing.
When we lose, it is not always because we didn’t plan well or work hard and smart enough. Things happen at times because they were ordained to happen (the way they did).
We see that in the death of friends, colleagues and family members. We lost a number of our team members at DRMM this year. We didn’t foresee their death. Nor have we fully recovered from it. Yet, we remain grateful that they played their vital part in our long-standing mission of helping men and women regain their stability, wellbeing, sense of family, positive productivity and self-reliance.
Also, some of our faithful volunteers and donors passed away this year. We consider it remarkable to have people who have donated to us ceaselessly for decades. How we wish those of them who passed on this year are still alive to receive regular updates of our progress. How we wish they are still alive to continue upholding us in prayer.
But we remain grateful that they had committed their precious lives to the noble task of helping “the least of these” among us.
As we enter the New Year without them, we feel a greater sense of responsibility to double our efforts in helping more people in need right here in southeast Michigan.
Of course, that would be supine or even impossible without continuing to boost the morale of our team members – which is a major priority.
Be they facility managers, case managers, certified counselors or residence specialists, their work is very demanding and can be frustrating at times, given the types of clientele we deal with daily – including people returning from prison and those suffering from substance abuse or chronic homelessness.
Thus, we seek and gladly welcome your fervent prayers, words of encouragement, suggestions, scheduled tour of our facilities, skilled volunteerism and donation of money and materials.
They are priceless, and we cannot continue to make a difference without them.
Thank you for your much valued partnership and best wishes for Year 2017.