By Edmond Lee, Communications

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.
Proverbs 11:25 (The Message Bible)

As another year winds down and we look forward to the Christmas season (and the holidays!), it’s worth taking some time to reflect on the year gone by.

Geopolitical upheavals, financial uncertainties, war and tragedies… 2016 has been a long, eventful, and often tumultuous year. It can be easy to give in to pessimism when we turn on the news and see, for example, the latest updates on the civil war tearing Syria violently apart. Some days, one can feel a deep frustration with the world. And when you combine that with the pressures of daily life, it can feel like too much to bear. I’ve been there.

And yet, 2016 has been instructive in teaching me the value of looking beyond myself.  As a writer with World Vision, I know that every word I type makes an impact for the people we serve. If I can convince just one person to sponsor a child or give to a worthy cause through my writing, that could make all the difference for a child and a community trapped in poverty.

On certain days, that responsibility can be overwhelming. But on others, it energises me. It forces me to power through and discover creative energies I didn’t know I had. Sometimes my writing falls short of its potential (apologies to my long-suffering editor) but on good days I turn out something authentic that can move hearts! Most importantly, focusing on the needs of someone else helps me to forget myself, if just for a moment.

So as we look towards 2017 and the new uncertainties it may bring, maybe that’s one lesson we can take with us: When all we have to think about are our own fears and insecurities (which we often feed for no reason), the world can drag us down.  But when we can channel our energies into serving those who suffer, the light of hope we bring into their world may just light up ours as well.

May the light and joy of Christmas surround you this Christmas, and here’s to a very bright 2017.