The New Year is fast approaching. And, many will celebrate the turning of the calendar from 2010 to 2011. They will go out and party. Many will get drunk. Some of them will say emphatically that they are Christians. They seem unaware that drunkenness is spoken of as a sin in the Bible – or, they believe that in spite of deliberately going out to get drunk – that God, because of His love and mercy, will certainly forgive them. That’s an interesting hope or belief that might not stand up under too much scrutiny. However, in spite of that theological argument, I still don’t understand why anyone would want to usher in the first day of the new year with a handover. Maybe I am just getting older. Maybe I am just getting wiser. Maybe both. Most likely, my view is tinted by the fact that I am a recovered alcoholic.
Each day of your life is a God-given gift. Today could be your last day and you don’t even know it. There may be no tomorrow for you and for many others like you. No one is guaranteed another day let alone another year. We are, as believers, to live for today – not the new year. We are to live today – not yesterday, wallowing in our regrets and guilt. The only time we have is “now” and we should live “today” to the fullest. Yes, review the last year and see what was accomplished and maybe what you could have done better – making some adjustments to your attitude and approach, actions and activities. Take a look at next year and plan it out a little so that you are not simply flying blind. But live today!
As difficult as it is to root ourselves in the present, it is the only place we have to live and the only place where relationships are built. In the words of missionary martyr Jim Elliot, “Wherever you are, be all there.”
In the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” Morrie states, “I believe in being fully present.” Life and relationships had grown clearer to the dying professor, and he explained to his younger friend gently, “That means you should be with the person you’re with. When I am talking to you now, Mitch, I try to keep focused only on what is going on between us. I am not thinking of what’s coming up on Friday … I am talking to you. I am thinking about you.” He had learned, as he was dying, how to live for the present – in the now.
As believers we know that the Bible states our days are numbered and limited. The Bible states that only God knows the specific number of days we will live. Jesus tells us to live one day at a time when He states “sufficient are the evils of today for today” So, our focus needs to be – today – here and now. Yes, we know we will go to Heaven when we eventually leave this earth, whenever that may be. But, meanwhile let’s not spend time focusing on and celebrating the new year or regreting the past year and the mess we have managed to make of it. Instead, celebrate today! It may be your last one so live it to the fullest and without regret – touching lives for Jesus as you do.