It’s 2014. Doesn’t feel much different than yesterday, does it?
Don’t let the past 24 hours fool you. This year, the days in front of you, are the most important days you’ll ever live. What you do over the next 365 days will shape your future. The small decisions you make every day this year will deepen your character or erode it.
Take time today to knuckle down, clear your mind, and think. Really think. Think about your life – its direction, its weight and its tone.
Direction – if you keep doing what you’re doing, will you pleased where you are mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually one year from now, 10 years from now? If you keep doing what you’re doing, will you experience more or less joy? More or less adventure? If you keep doing what you’re doing, will your life bless others or rob others of blessing?
Weight – Nearly every new year’s resolution contains something about getting in shape. That’s not what I mean. By weight, I mean substance, significance, gravity. Imagine trying to pick up a box you thought was empty and discovering it’s full of books. You have to adjust how you pick it up and prepare yourself for the exertion required. What does your life currently weigh? Is it full of significance, substance and gravity? Are the things you’re doing important or trivial? Are your hobbies and likes such that they contribute to relationships or just pass the time? Think about the mark you’d like your life to leave. It’s the age-old concept of asking yourself what you want people saying about you at your funeral.
Tone – If the content of your life were currently transcribed into a song, what type would it be? A soaring ballad of love or a country song about kicking the dog? Would it be positive or negative? Would it engender hope and get others singing along, or would they be holding their ears? The tone of your life is the attitude that you demonstrate – through good and bad. When you’re around people with bad attitudes, think about how you want out of their presence as soon as possible. Are you like that? Think about it.
The Rose Bowl Parade and Everlasting Love
As I watched the 125th Rose Bowl parade, one float in particular struck me by just how profane our culture is. Natalie Cole belted out This Will Be (An Everlasting Love). Actually, she poorly lip synced the song while couples of various ages waved from park benches positioned on the float.
The song is the trademark song for E-Harmony, and recent statistics show that upwards of 35% of couples in the last few years have met online.
The front of the float was emblazoned in white cursive script “Everlasting Love.” As the camera backed away from the zoom-in, you realized that it was just a tiny little float, on a street, lost in the midst of hundreds of others. The singer wasn’t live. It was canned. It was a packaged, flowery front on a float. And that’s the best this world has to offer you.
In 2014, think about it. Really think. Are you buying into what the world is selling? Are you convinced you can get something everlasting through our consumer culture?
I’m not convinced.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139.23-24 ESV)
The word everlasting there can also be translated as “ancient” and can be found in Jeremiah 6.16:
Thus says the LORD:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.”(Jeremiah 6.16)
The first reference is a timely prayer for the beginning of 2014. Ask God to reveal to you what are your real thoughts, the real direction, weight and tone of your life. The second reference is a request that, if made genuinely, will result in the best year of your life. Ask God to show you “where the good way is” and then determine to “walk in it.” You’ll discover that this year, 2014, will set the pace for you have the best year of your life, and in so doing, you’ll “find rest for your soul.”
May it truly be a Happy New Year.