Thursday, December 27, 2012

Simple Counsel for a New Year

As we close one year and prepare to begin a new one, I’m thinking about time.  Some anonymous wag reflected on life and time:

Life is tough.  It takes up a lot of your time, all your weekends, and what do you get at the end of it?  I think that life is all backward.  You should die first and get it out of the way.  Then you live twenty years in an old-age home.  You get kicked out when you’re too young.  You get a gold watch, you go to work.  You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement.  You go to college; you party until you’re ready for high school; you go to grade school; you become a little kid; you play.  You have no responsibilities.  You become a little baby; you go back into the womb; you spend your last nine months floating; and you finish up as a gleam in somebody’s eye.

Of course, things don’t work that way, do they?  Life moves forward, not backward.  And instead of finishing as a gleam in somebody’s eye, some finish burdened down with baggage from years misspent, relationships un-reconciled, and opportunities un-seized.  Many people finish life with a lot of what-ifs and if-onlys and a bucketful of regrets.  But this need not be.

God is into fresh starts and new beginnings.  You can’t change the past, but you can make a better future.  You can draw nearer to God through personal spiritual disciplines and involvement in the life of His church.  As far as it depends on you, you can live in peace with others, dropping old grudges and treating others with kindness and understanding.  You can commit to seize the God-offered opportunities that come your way in 2013.  You can set some goals that will get you where you want to go.  God gives us January for such things as this.

What helps me as the years transition are these three truths: God can redeem my past; God is with me in the present; and God holds the future—my future—in His good hands.

As Carl Bard once said, “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”  That “anyone” means you.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent words of wisdom. I will try to keep those words fresh as I journey throughout the new year. Realy made my day.