2010 has just ended, and 2011 awaits us.

As we cross the threshold from last year into the new, we will make choices -- some will be positive and some will be negative. Either way, we will make choices.

One choice will be the way we reflect on 2010. We may choose to look back over the past twelve months with weary resignation lamenting over the moody Mondays, terrible Tuesdays, winning Wednesdays, tiring Thursdays, frustrating Fridays, scandalous Saturdays and sleazy Sundays. If this is your choice, then you will be bogged down in despair and remorse and held captive by your negative emotions.

This type of person reminds me of Lott's wife who looked back as she was leaving her home in Sodom and Gomorrah and turned into a "pillar of salt" (Genesis 19: 26). She was captivated by her past and unable to let go so she could move forward into a new life with new opportunities. She became victim to her memories and lost her future. How sad to become so wrapped up in your past that you are unable to generate a future.

The other option is much more appealing to me. To remember the good events of 2010, learn from the mishaps and mistakes, grieve lost relationships and look forward with hope and joy to a bright new year with awesome possibilities. I am sure that you do not want anxiety, stress and depression to rob you of your peace. Make these choices: Seek hope over despair ... faith over doubt ... joy instead of sadness ... new relationships to replace loneliness ... love that conquers fear. These are all choices that we should make as we enter into 2011.

During the brief six months of New England golf weather, I try to find my way onto the links at least once each week. Late spring to early autumn provide some of the best days to play a round (or two) of golf. Occasionally, a scheduled day will be overcast, windy and rainy. During the round of play, I wait for someone in my foursome to make the inevitable comment, "This is a terrible day!" Then I chime back with, "A lot of people did not wake up this morning. No matter how bad the weather may seem, I am glad that I am alive and can be part of this day!"

I have a motto that I live by: "On this side of the grave, everything is manageable."

By now, you may be thinking, "This guy sounds like he has not had too many difficulties in his life." Well, I can assure you that I have had my share of problems -- some minor and others life-threatening. I have had to bury loved ones (family and friends). My family has ridden the emotional rollercoaster of life with uncertainty and exasperation. But through it all, my God has made a way. He has never abandoned me or forsaken me or rejected me. He is my Rock, and it is upon Him that I stand as I remember 2010 and look forward with great expectancy to 2011.

Do not let yesterday's stuff rob you of today's joy and tomorrow's hope. Happy 2011!

ST. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH

41 Easton Road, Westport

203-227-7441 / www.stpaulwestport.org

PASTOR: Rev. Paul Teske. He is the author of the book, "Healing for Today." His website and blog can be found at www.paulteske.com, and www.hiddenchoices.com is the website for a non-profit ministry that he runs to help women and children in crisis.

PROGRAMS: St. Paul Christian School, Alpha - an opportunity for adults and young adults to explore the meaning of life, Uprising Youth -- "Empowering Students to Lead," Pioneer Clubs, Membership Classes

SPECIAL EVENTS: New Year's Eve prayer service 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES: St. Paul's Church supports 18 missions in Bridgeport, Westport, Norwalk and around the globe.