What is January but a time to reset life on the maturing foundation of our hopes, fears, and good intentions? It’s good to remember that our plight is not unique. ◊
We mark our life in time segments of days, months, quarters, years, even decades. And so we start again at another new year mark. With new energy, new perspective, new hope, new ideas, new change. As well as new fears, new pains, new uncertainty, new disillusionment, new depression.
Happens every year actually. But this one’s different, isn’t it? Or so we say, every year.
But It Is Different. Perhaps Not.
There are many reasons to hold up this January, this new year launch, as being on the precipice of a new era. There’s a different vibe in the air, it seems, as people around the world are waking up to new levels of excitement or new levels of discouragement. But our current point in time is certainly not unique in stirring broad ranges of highs and lows in human perspectives.
Consider the human heart, mind, and emotions of any one living through the following points in history:
- An average family, along with neighbors and a whole community of people, being led by a man named Moses out of their known “homeland” of slavery and oppression under Egyptian rule to a life on the road/run to a so-called “promised land.” One would certainly be happy to be free from a life of bondage, yet filled with fear for a future of uncertainty and perhaps danger. And with the evidence surrounding the national “exodus” of a revealed and mysterious supernatural power of the God of one’s ancestors that lived so very long ago, the family’s trust in their new community leader is not without some fear and reservation. (See Exodus 13)
- Another average family, living 1,000 years later in their established-as-promised homeland now being uprooted and forced to move in exile to a faraway land by a powerful and dominant Babylonian empire. Their home, business, faith, and way of life are destroyed and going forward will be dictated by a cruel and ruthless conquering power. Sadly, they and an entire nation of families like theirs were warned by designated spokesmen and failed to heed the danger coming from their own disobedience to the God of their ancestors. (See Ezekiel 33)
- Or another average family, living even 1,000 years later (6th century A.D.) in the Byzantine Empire and dealing with a devastating version of the bubonic plague whose initial outbreak killed almost 10% of the world’s population. It is said that the widespread fear of death and a sense of the ending of the world (apocalypse) is what led to the rapid expansion of Christianity across the empire and throughout the Mediterranean. This disease would revisit Asia and Western Europe 8 centuries later with similar tragedy and be known as the Black Death.
- Or yet another average family, living in early and mid-20th century Europe with war-weary husbands, fathers, and brothers returning from the French and German battlefields of World Wars I and 2. Though grateful for war’s end, their Christian prayers to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would at times seem to be answered only by ongoing tragedy, death and dying around them. Lives and subsequent families that settled into anticipated world peace in the latter half of the past century would soon find themselves facing new global threats of wars, economic crisis, and racial disharmony.
God, the Constant Thread Throughout Human History
Whether one believes in or denies the existence of God, the God of Abraham, as revealed in the Bible for all of mankind to read and know, He is the constant thread throughout all of human history. From Creation (See Genesis) and then throughout the centuries leading into our own sophisticated era of modern nations, technologies, and social structures, God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (all places).
To miss, or worse, discount God’s presence, impact, silence, pronouncements and judgments as a consistent thread throughout the history of mankind, is to misunderstand the very purpose of life.
Relative to our new year’s planning, even in a global tumultuous time as ours, boldly stated, every new year’s plan or resolve or goal to achieve our hopes, or overcome our fears, or act out on our very good intentions, are but idle goals, akin to Don Quixote’s tilting at windmills, if they are apart from the intentional connection with and the determinate will of the God of all Creation.
May this New Year, for you, be built on a firm foundation of plans and prayers that reach beyond the norm and align a submissive heart to the God that loves you greatly.
Have a happy and blessed rest of your life.
“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced…” – 1 Chronicles 16:11-12