A century or so down the road, if the Lord’s coming is delayed until then, people will look back at our time on this planet with as much fascination as we look back on the time of George Washington, Thomas Edison, or the Wright Brothers.
They’ll wonder what life was like for those of us who were alive when John Kennedy was assassinated, Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant, and Neil Armstrong became the first person to plant boots on the moon.
They’ll wonder what it was like to ride in a car that required a human driver and to fly the friendly skies in a tube that required a human pilot.
They’ll wonder what it was like before robots did the household chores, the refrigerator placed the grocery order, and ocean farming provided a big chunk of the world’s food supply.
They’ll wonder what it was like before 3D printers were as common and affordable as laptops, enabling ordinary mortals to sculpt a pair of shoes or a new kidney.
They’ll wonder what it was like before the DNA composition of patients was precisely mapped and medical treatment targeted to each individual.
And they’ll wonder what it was like in a world where average life expectancy was less than 100 years.
But those of us living in the here-and-now have a full plate navigating the next twelve months.
So cheers to a New Year and another chance to get it right.
It’s too late to change your past but not too late to change your future. At the beginning of a New Year, you have 365 blank pages—each to be scripted with God’s guidance: “his mercies begin afresh each day” (Lam 3:23 NLT). What plans does he have for you this year? Have you talked to him about that?
Time is beyond your control. You can’t bring it back once it’s gone. And you can’t stop its progress—can’t slow it down or turn it off. All you can do is use it. It’s like money in your pocket—you can spend it however you wish, but you can only spend it once.
With the flip of the last page of last year’s calendar, you buttoned down the end of what was and signaled the beginning of what is to be. You will be creating memories in this New Year. Make them good ones.
A lot of things happened in 2017 that you weren’t expecting. The same will be true this year. But that doesn’t mean you are left alone to helplessly face an uncertain future. “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand” (Ps 37:23–24 NLT).
On Christmas Eve 1939, four months into the gloom of World War II, King George VI calmed jittery Brits in a BBC radio broadcast. He closed his oration with the preamble to Minnie Louise Haskins’ The Gate of the Year . . .
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.
As the old year died and the new one is born, surrender the old to history, and seek God’s guidance for the new.
Reach for his hand; put yours in his: “That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
Happy New Year!