So there goes the first week of 2013 and before we know it, we’ll be saying goodbye to January. Yes, just like that.
But such is life. You see folks, nothing stops time. Not the joyful celebration of Christmas and New Year. Not even the suffering inflicted by that menacing Cyclone we’ve come to call Evan.
As we welcome the first Sunday of 2013, we realise that everything has been compressed so that the world becomes smaller – a global village – ruled bya clock that refuses to stop ticking.
Say what you like but the clock will continue to tick, dictating what it wants you and me to do. Whether we’re happy or sad, it doesn't really care about how we feel. Suffice to say, we are all slaves of time. Don't ask me to explain.
Tomorrow will come unless our Maker says otherwise. And as it does, we find that planet earth – polluted and damaged because of mankind’s recklessness and negligence – will move along at its own leisure as if it’s on a mission to get somewhere.
Indeed, time and the planet’s riveting journey stops for no man. Not for the wars and suffering we see near and far, not for the bitter squabbling next to us and certainly not for our indecisiveness about what to do next.
In Samoa today, we agree that there has been much suffering – both natural and man-made. Whereas Cyclone Evan exposed just how vulnerable we all are to the elements, the needless deaths and the heartaches they create is another reminder that mankind constantly needs directions.
Without such, we are lost. We are talking about the man-made violence and destruction causing divisions within families, villages and churches.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are the challenges of our time. It’s about us looking deep within and finding peace within ourselves. It’s about finding out who we really are and what we have been placed on this planet to do. It’s about finding our purpose, our calling and who we are here to bless. You see, the man God created was never meant to be a curse. We are placed on earth to be a blessing to all God’s creations – especially to our fellow human beings.
As this New Year begins, let’s be grateful that many of us still have families and loved ones around. There are families who would give anything to have what we have. Look at the story on the front today.
Think of Hans Dalton’s family. Think about the families of nine other people who are still missing since Cyclone Evan. Their stories are heart breaking.
But we cannot stop. We’ve got to keep moving forward, one glorious step at a time.
To be sure, there are bound to be tough obstacles waiting for us ahead.
Indeed, 2013 is a big mystery we know nothing about. But that is no reason for us to be discouraged.
There is promise up ahead; there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.
Which means now is not the time to look backwards, or to hesitate. It’s time to think about hope, opportunities and priorities. It’s time to think about what’s most important.
When all is said and done, we should come to realise that not everything matters. There are some things more important than others. And there are also some things that are a total waste of time.
It’s a year to pick what’s best and do what is best. It’s a year to choose our priorities right and give them the attention they deserve.
As a country, let’s start thinking about becoming truly independent.
Sure, we’ve been politically independent for the last 50 years, and we are mighty proud of it.
But financially independent we are not.
And how to achieve financial independence? By thinking seriously about exports - instead of just taxes, remittances and aid - as the future backbone of our economy.
Now that China with its unquenchable market is opening its doors wide, it seems logical that we should take advantage of this golden opportunity.
Think about turning those acres of land into plantations of pineapples, pawpaw, kasava, ava, oranges and mangoes with export in mind. Think about employment for those able-bodied young men and women who are doing nothing at present.
Think of how we can take advantage of our political stability and unity as a nation so that we become an even stronger nation.
And lastly, think about love, caring and compassion. Think about forgiveness, letting go and never giving up. Today is a gift so make the most of it.
Have a peaceful Sunday and God bless!