Happy New Year 2020 · 1 January 2020

Happy New Year! It is 2020!

Apparently, the year end brought with it the end of a decade. But it also brings with it something unique. A new way to think about new years.

The year 2020 brings with it a lot of thoughts about seeing. After all 20/20 is perfect eyesight. And so the new year surely brings with it thoughts about seeing clearly. Or perhaps that is just me.

They say that hindsight is 20/20 so we ought to be able to look back on the past year (and even more years past) and say that we have learned something. We ought to be able to say that we are more experienced at parenting or that our relationships have grown deeper or that we are at least smarter in some way, shape, or form. At least those are the things that I hope I can say about myself. At the very least, that the important relationships I do have have grown deeper. But alas. I know that in general, we do not learn from history and so as a whole, we are destined to repeat it. Old mistakes will again be made. So much for hindsight being 20/20.

Perhaps looking to the future will be brighter. As we think about vision, we know that the future is not set (or seen) yet. It is history unfolding. It is bright and clear. We can see this is so when we look with that 20/20 vision. Or with that 2020 vision. We know that we get to make our future here and now. The blank canvas is there for us to paint a beautiful picture. We get to start the new year with a blank slate. At least it seems that way. And in reality it can be that way if we do not let the baggage from yesterday keep us from looking ahead with optimism and hope.

Still, I think that the best way to use our 2020 vision is to look to today. Each day is its own day of possibilities. And we need to remember that we can only live in the present. To live in the past or the future is to throw away the gift of today. And indeed today is a gift. A precious gift from God. We dare not throw it away. Yes, we need to learn from the past. Yes, we need to plan for the future. But if we have learned anything, we should remember the lesson that we only get to live in the present. And like I already said, each day is indeed a present.

I hope that I can live each moment to its fullest. I hope that I can see with 20/20 vision in this year 2020. I hope I can learn from the past, plan for the future, and still live each present day to its fullest. I hope you can too.

Happy New Year! May 2020 be the best year ever. (So far.)

© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Life, the Universe, and Everything · 28 December 2019

Hubble Sees a Horsehead of a Different Color

Have you ever wondered why we are here? Well, if you have ever read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, you know that there is a simple answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything. I will not give that answer here (so no spoiler alert necessary), but it is a simple. And even though the author had a different worldview than I do, there really is a simple answer to the question of life, the universe and everything. Well, simple but complex.

If you have ever wondered why we are even here on this seemingly insignificant planet in this seemingly insignificant solar system, in this seemingly insignificant galaxy, in this ever expanding universe, you are not alone. We all wonder at our own insignificance from time to time. We all wonder why we are here. We all wonder what it all means. Yes, we all have questions about life, the universe, and everything.

The simple answer is that it all exists to glorify God. The problem with that answer is why does God need to be glorified? Why can’t He just be? I have followed Jesus for most of my life. I work to seek God’s will for my life every day. Sometimes I even hit the mark. But I often miss. I often err. But I think I finally understand the thought that we are here to glorify God. We are here to glorify God so that others might want to have a relationship with God in the first place. Which is really the answer to why we are here. We are here to have a relationship with God. Our Creator and Redeemer.

Now I do not want to sound like I know why God created the universe and us in the first place. But I do know that He created us so that we might have direct interpersonal connection with Him. Period. That is the first and most important lesson of the Bible. Love God. We ought to love God because He first loved us. The second and nearly as important lesson of the Bible is that we should love each other. Jesus said that all the law and the prophets rest on those two commandments. And those two commandments are what God says through life, the universe, and everything.

The problem people have with this thought is that they have believed the lie. The lie I said near the beginning. In truth, we are on the most significant planet, in the most significant solar system, in the most significant galaxy, in the amazing universe. And all those amazing things are here to point us to God because each person is important. The whole universe is here to glorify God and tell us that He wants to have a personal relationship with each and every individual.

There you have it. A simple yet complex answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything. (And yes, there is much more to the story than that.)

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Christmas Makes All the Difference · 25 December 2019

Christmas makes all the difference in a person’s life and in history itself.

It does not matter what significance each one of us gives to Christmas. Whether it is a day to just give gifts to one another or it is just another day off or it is just a ruse to get more people to buy more stuff. It does not matter whether the date is right or wrong in terms of when Jesus was really born. What matters is the celebration of God coming down to live among us. What matters is that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit. What matters is that God loves us so much that He gave us Jesus.

So too, it does not really matter whether you believe that Jesus was the Son of God or not. The facts remain. Jesus was born. He lived. He died on a cross at the hand of Roman executioners. He was buried. And He rose again. These are facts. Not myths. Not fictions. Jesus is historical. And His life is recorded in the Bible and in other sources as well. History makes it clear. Christmas makes all the difference in the world.

So Merry Christmas! And Happy Easter! After all, without the words “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!” Jesus’ birth would not mean anything. But when Jesus rose from the grave, He gave His birth significance. Which eventually gave rise to Christmas.

I do love Christmas. I love giving gifts to my loved ones. I love spending time with my family. I love reading the story of the first Christmas. I love it not just because I have such good memories of being a kid loving Christmas. I love it because of what Christmas celebrates. I love Christmas because it is God’s gift to me and to the whole world. The perfect Christmas present. And presence.

So take a little time to think about what Christmas really means to you. And when you think about history and the birth of a special child in Bethlehem, hopefully, you will see that Christmas makes all the difference in the world.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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