Welcome to 2012!

Regardless of what the Mayan calendar may or may not have predicted, and in spite of any new apocalyptic pronouncements that may be forthcoming from Harold Camping, here are three things about which I am quite certain concerning the year that lies ahead.  

1.  If the pages keep turning on this year’s calendar, it is because (and only because) God’s patience continues to be extended to mankind in delaying the return of His Son.  That makes each and every day an intentional, purposeful gift from the Father.  History does not keep marching forward by accident.  Therefore, I am resolved to gratefully accept God’s gift of each day as a special, unique blessing.  I will not allow any day to be a mere mechanical carbon copy of the one before, but will do my best to use each one for the purposes of His honor, glory, and will.

2.  Events will transpire on a local, national, and global scale that are totally beyond my control.  Illnesses will be diagnosed.  Friends and loved ones will depart to be with the Lord.  Flood waters will rise.  Tornadoes will ravage the interior of the land, and hurricanes will batter the coast.  Terrorists will strike.  The stock market will plunge, then rise, then plunge again.  Wars and conflicts will rage.  Since I have absolutely no control over any of these events, I will not waste precious time living in fear, worry, or anxiety.  However, I do realize that my reaction to events around me is definitely within my control, as are my attitudes, actions, and words.  Experience has taught me that I have quite a handful just trying to manage those few things on a daily basis.

3.  My relationship with Christ and depth of spirituality will not remain the same this year.  There is no neutral position, hover mode, or pause button that will allow me to just stay where I am.  I will either draw closer to God or move further away from Him.  I will either be more devoted in prayer and study of His word, or I will lose ground by filling my heart and mind with more of this world’s transient and trivial pursuits.  I will either come to know Jesus more intimately, or He will become more of a stranger to me. 

God will allow me to decide daily whether I will follow more closely in the steps of Jesus or seek paths of my own making and choosing.

Thank you, Father, for the gift and challenge of a new year.  May your Name be glorified, may your Son be praised, may your Spirit convict and comfort, and may your Kingdom advance and increase in all the earth.