Welcome to December. The home stretch of a year which
has shown us that terrible things do happen to good
people just minding their own business. At the same
time, we've seen that good common people can become
better than anyone could have believed when the
mission they find themselves in becomes greater than
all their days combined.

As years end, it's often a time to look back on what
has happened. We look at where we are, what we have
and where we were 12 months ago. We may think about
what we wanted to accomplish during the year but just
never got around to. We see all the daily
interruptions that got in our way of doing something
we would rather have done.

We look around at others who seem happy and we think
about how much we "wish" we could be like them or do
what they are doing. But we just "know" we don't have
time to do it. Either that, or our life-long
circumstances have made it impossible for us to come
even close to doing something as "wonderful" as that.

Looking back is all too easy to see where we fell
short, things we should have done differently, things
we should not have wasted the time or money on. Boy,
if we only had a dime for every time each of us felt
that way in our lives, there would be so many more
millionaires in this world.

Unlike many sports where you get an intermission
between quarters or can call a timeout as in football,
life doesn't work that way. It's more of an auto race
or a marathon. It doesn't just stop at certain points
giving us a chance to rest, the clock is always
ticking and we are always moving forward (if we want
to, or not).

In a race, we look back to compare ourselves to
everyone else. In life, we look back to compare
ourselves with, well