A Cowboy’s Faith: Calendar turnover brings optimism

buchmanheadEd. note: Frank Buchman is taking a break to start off 2020, so we’ll revisit his New Year’s optimism from six years ago. Originally published Jan. 5, 2014.

“Everybody is talking about the new year.”

Somehow, new always has a positive connotation, whatever the subject. Thus, regardless of what the past has been, and despite sometimes even gloomy forecasts, when the calendar turns to January, most people look forward to better days ahead.

While actually it is just another day, another week, another month, another year, and problems of the past remain; anticipation of improving change presents a glimmer of hope even for the most pessimistic.

In reviewing the past 12 months, there’s been ample doom and gloom that most prefer to forget regarding world problems, national leadership, indebtedness, taxations, insurance programs and considerable more.

Yet, for those in agriculture, days have never been better. At least that’s true when evaluating commodity values. Meat animals are the highest priced ever, and grain markets, although having decreased some in recent days, are at comparatively all-time record levels as well.

Likewise, land values have never been higher, and farmers’ net worth in most cases is more than forefathers could have ever envisioned in their greatest imagination.

Yes, input costs are also at peaks, but accompanying that is the lowest interest rates many have ever seen, positioning innovative producers to stay profitable. It is a time for joy and looking optimistically forward.

The new year is always a time for making resolutions, setting goals for improvement

Again, the most frequent new year’s resolution throughout this country is to lose weight, as many take another plateful at supper.

Improving finances is the second most common new year’s resolution that too many answer by making a major investment, because their wages are increasing.

Third and fourth most popular resolutions are to quit smoking and reduce alcohol use. We don’t have to worry about those, but we’ll follow the majority and try to lose weight and improve our finances.

Likelihood of either is slim. So, we’ll set two more objectives: finish the projects we didn’t get completed in 2013, and get another horse as a new one is always better than the last, until proven otherwise.

Reminds us of Acts 14:17: “He has always given evidence of his existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain, crops, food and fills your heart with happiness.” Thankfully, Proverbs 11:27: “If your goals are good, you can accomplish them.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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