Few hours are left for an elapsing year to have its page closed, while waiting for a new year’s page; we are receiving it bearing hope in our hearts, wishing it to be filled with all good and blessings of God the beneficent.
Every end and beginning requires each of us to sit with himself, reviewing what we have gone through the past year, learning to place that year, and rather the entire days of life, in the hands of God to fill them with peace and blessings, then we shall keep in mind our goals, hopes, dreams and ambitions that we want to achieve through His assistance. Before we bid farewell to 2021, I am filled with hope that God will make it a year of wisdom; the wisdom that the Bible praised: “For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.” The happiest person is he who finds the way to true wisdom that comes from God! He, blessed be His name, is the only Wise as the Bible says: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” Therefore, whoever desires to be wise, shall ask God, who bestows his wisdom liberally and without reproach.
However, we shall distinguish between earthly wisdom, which is often characterized by jealousy, partisanship, confusion, and all bad things- approaching cunning or evil intelligence, and may bring impressive results at first, but in the course of time, it turns out to be temporary wisdom, of unreal gains- and true wisdom, that is characterized by purity and the pursuit of peace, full of kindness and compassion toward every human being, and in the end its results are good for all.
Wisdom of man begins with himself, through choosing his goals in the path of life, so that his goals- in regards to aims and methods- are consistent with the principles of humanitarian love, in which shadows we shall live to know the meaning of peace and security. When man chooses his goals wisely, he shall also choose his means through the same level of wisdom. Several noble goals were squandered amid unwise ways and means to achieve them! Let us also be wise in using the time we have; we all have one unrepeatable life; So, let us be circumspect in each moment: How do we live it? Do we invest it? Is our investment in construction, or demolition, in peace, or war, in good, or evil, in love, or hatred? Our choices make all the differences and turns of our lives, and we shall realize that the kind of choice stems from the principles that each person pursues for himself. Therefore, every new year is an opportunity for one’s soul to review its thoughts and principles, the extent of their consistency, and the principles of mercy, truth, justice and love.
He who seeks wisdom chooses carefully whom to pursue the path with. Man’s choices for companionship and friends inevitably affect his course; That is why the Wise teaches us: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.”; therefore, he who seeks wisdom shall choose well those who would assist him to think wisely regarding the paths and problems of life, those who infuse positive energy that helps him take the right decisions at the appropriate times so that his steps do not falter. As you choose your path, you shall choose your words and attitudes wisely and very carefully to be fitting and appropriate to the subject you are talking about, and affecting your listener; it is preferred to think deeply and wisely before uttering the words of advice or guidance. In a new year, we need to train ourselves to listen more than talking. Listening gives a person many qualities that increase wisdom: such as awareness of the dimensions of the subject, and a deeper understanding of situations and problems; thus, in the course of time and practice of listening, a person has the ability to think deeply and to judge things well.
Happy new year to all of us, wishing it to be a prosperous peaceful one for our country, may God protect us from the pandemic. And… stories about beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center