I hope all of you had a great New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

I’ve always loved New Year’s Eve/Day because of college football bowl games. They have changed through the years, with the addition of the college football playoffs, and players opting out in order to protect themselves for the NFL draft, but it’s still college football.

This year’s playoff semifinals lined up to be intriguing, but the two strongest teams recently – Alabama and Georgia – dismissed their opponents with relative ease.

The National Championship game will be a rematch between the two teams that last faced off in the SEC Championship game.

It will be the last college game of the year, and I hope it’s better than the teams’ first meeting.

I thought the semi-final games would be a little more competitive, but it didn’t turn out that way.

The next day (New Year’s Day) featured competitive bowl games, many of which came down to the wire.

Speaking of college football, I’m not exactly sure how, buy my Aggies hauled in the top recruiting class this year, as of now. This year’s class also ranks highest in the history of college recruiting, or at least since such statistics have been tallied.

This year’s Aggie haul includes six of the 20 five-star athletes in the country, and 16 players in top 100. The class could improve even more come national signing day next month.

Now the key is going to be what coach Jimbo Fisher can do with all that new talent, and the players he has recruited in previous years.

All I know is this is rarified air my Aggies are in nowadays.

Five-star players didn’t come to Bryan/College Station too often in the past.

Four- and five-star athletes are nice, but I’ll never forget Johnny Manziel was only a three-star player coming out of Kerrville, and he provided more thrills than any Aggie I’ve seen since the mid-70s.

None of us knows what will happen until a new player hits the field playing college ball.

The wait now begins. September can’t get here soon enough!

COVID-19 anniversary

It’s hard to believe, but Jan. 18 will mark two years since COVID-19 first landed in the United States in Washington State. Our lives have been turned upside down in many ways, first by the lockdowns and fear that ran rampart across the globe, and more recently by the ever-changing “rules” handed down to us from the federal level.

We were just about to get our heads above water in the wake of Hurricane Harvey when COVID-19 entered our collective lives.

It’s about time we get a break!

With that in mind, I close with the following email I received.

Looking ahead to 2022

Jerry Brundrett emailed the following message of hope to me this past weekend:

“In the stillness of this Friday morning (Dec. 31, 2021, at 5 a.m.), my mind is being held captive by the title of this famous poem written by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957) entitled ‘The Gate of the Year’. A dear friend first shared this poem with me many years ago. Since we are all standing at the gate of a new year, 2022, no one can predict what the future has in store for us. I thought this poem might give us hope for the new year.

“The poem ‘The Gate of the Year’ is the popular name that was first titled ‘God Knows’. It was written in 1908 and published in 1912 as part of a collection titled ‘The Desert’. It became famous when spoken by King George VI in his 1939 Christmas broadcast to the British Empire.

“In December 1939, Great Britain was gripped in fear, as Hitler was spreading terror across all of Europe, and Great Britain had just entered World War II. No one knew what their future would bring and with every air raid siren their fears intensified. In that moment, the people of Great Britain looked to their king for some words of hope and comfort. It is said Princess Elizabeth, who was only 13 years old at the time, brought the poem to the attention of King George VI.

“I am in hope this poem will also serve to bring hope and comfort to our troubled world.

“The Gate of the Year”

(God Knows)

By Minnie Louise Haskins

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”.

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way”.

So I went forth, and finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

And he led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:

What need our little life

Our human life to know,

If God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife

Of things both high and low,

God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will

Is best. The stretch of years

Which wind ahead, so dim

To our imperfect vision,

Are clear to God. Our fears

Are premature; in Him,

All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until

God moves to lift the veil

From our impatient eyes,

When, as the sweeter features

Of Life’s stern face we hail,

Fair beyond all surmise

God’s thought around His creatures

Our mind shall fill.

“In closing, I want to say, that God still hideth His intentions, but He ‘still knows’ what is happening. As a world, as a nation, and as a people, our only hope is to go out into the darkness of 2022, put our hand into the Hand of God, and trod gladly. That will also be to us ‘better than light and safer than a known way’. May God bless our journey.”

Well said Jerry.

Until next week, have a good week!

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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