At the stroke of midnight tonight a year will end, and a new year will begin. We will, I'm sure, during the course of the day contemplate the things that have happened over the year -- the vacations we took, the roofs we put on our houses, the elections we participated in, the movies we viewed and the books we read and perhaps wrote. We will ruefully think of missed opportunities and rejoice in the great things that got accomplished. We'll remember the big November election that shook up the political establishment and remember that it was a year in which we lost Mr. Cunningham (Tom Bosley) and Mrs. Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley). Oh, I can't forget the biggest event of my year, something I've waited all my life to see -- the San Francisco Giants won their first World Series in San Francisco and first in franchise history since 1954.
As we think about all of this and share our memories, which I invite you the reader to do, maybe it's appropriate to keep in mind the words of the Teacher from Ecclesiastes 1 -- just to keep things in perspective:
The words of the Teacher,* the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,*
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What do people gain from all the toil
at which they toil under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains for ever.
5 The sun rises and the sun goes down,
and hurries to the place where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south,
and goes round to the north;
round and round goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7 All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they continue to flow.
8 All things* are wearisome;
more than one can express;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,