Heading Into 2023

Like most Americans, I wanted 2022 to end. The chaos, threats of war, an economy in freefall, distrust of the institutions we once held dear and the schism between right and left have resulted in heightened anxiety in every quarter of our country. One thing we all seem to agree on is that a feeling of heaviness permeates every interaction, and the very soul of America.

Christmas 2022 was small, quiet, and cold. After the chaos of the race to the 24th and the North Pole level freeze like I’ve never experienced, Nashville TN locked down. In true southern style that included the rapid removal of milk, bread and nearly everything else from all local grocery stores, we made do. Our old house, circa 1885, stays 40 degrees warmer than the outside air temperature, so at 2 degrees we were sitting at a chill 42 degrees for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Although that sounds like a setting for a North Korean prison camp, it turned out to be the best Christmas in recent memory. Why? Simplicity, and focus on all the right things including seven fishes, thoughtful gifts, games and even White Christmas during a real white Christmas. We committed to no social media, shutting out the rest of the world, and focusing on just the children, Santa Clause, and Mother Superior. A tremendous lesson–in the midst of doubt and fear, stop, drop, and roll. 

Focus on what really matters. 

My prayer for 2023 is equally simple. It is this, “Fear Not”. Those two words are actually mentioned in the Bible 365 times. One time for every single day in the coming year. I realize that just telling yourself not to be afraid doesn’t dismiss anxiety, but faith does. It’s a beautiful reminder to avoid making an idol out of politicians, physicians, military generals, clients or even our own families. Faith allows us to elevate our thoughts above the current darkness that enshrouds the world in order to focus on something higher. In 2023, this company and the families that it supports acknowledge that the good work we do (and we do excellent work) is based on God given talent and gratitude. As part of our strategic planning process, we include a benevolence fund, a way to honor what we’ve been given, what we’ve earned, to bless others. It helps us to stay humble and focused. 

There are many question marks as to what the new year will bring, the economy, the healthcare industry, and the continued trend toward outsourcing will all play a role. But I won’t focus on that. I will focus on fearlessly moving forward to whatever God has planned with joy and gratitude, expecting miracles so that I don’t miss a thing…

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