This is the day
Well, we are now off and running in a new year. What does it hold? What will happen that changes my life or yours? Will things get better or worse? These questions and many more are all on our minds as we head into 2023. Then, as the year unfolds and the seasons change. That is if you live anywhere but Florida.
You know when it's the fall in Florida? It is when all of the license plates change color. I mean Florida is the only place where summer lasts 6 months twice a year. This year in Florida on Christmas Day it was 46 degrees for a high and a week later on New Year's Day the high was 82 degrees. We have a sign on our back porch that reads "Lord, let this be a flip flop kinda day" and yes for the record we were both born and raised in Florida, 5th generation. The kids and the grandkids are here to keep the legacy in place.
On New Year's Day, Elaine and I were driving up to Gainesville for me to preach at Northwest Baptist Church. We have been doing this since April of 2022. Being their interim Pastor is a blessing and we are humbled that God has chosen to use us there. As we were driving, Elaine made the comment that she just couldn't believe that another year has gone by so quickly. Well, time does fly when you're having fun. So, as a side bar to that, we are having a blast serving God in the way we do. Yes, it can be a little chaotic at times but it's more of a blessing.
Back to the time flies though. Yes, this last year did seem to go by quickly. Seem is the keyword. It is noted that 2022 was a common year. There were 365 days, which equals 8,760 hours, 527,040 minutes or 31,536,000 seconds in a common year. By the way, common 2021 was and 2023 will be common.
While we are on the subject, here is a little more information for you but there are 366 days in a leap year, with 8,784 hours, 527,040 minutes, or 31,622,400 seconds. With 97 leap years every 400 years, the year has an average length of 365.2425 days.
I can hear you now asking the question. What in the world is he talking about today? Time and we all have the same amount of it. What we do with it is our decision. Good or bad it is our decision to do with it what we want.
Now when we use a word like want, what does it mean? Well, words are used and intended to express ideas and thoughts. So for the sake of this thought today what does want mean? The Cambridge Dictionary defines want as 'to wish for a particular thing or plan of action'. So what we want to do, and what we wish to do, are often done with little or no thought as to the cost or the consequences.
Several years ago there was a fellow pastor who I was talking with and he made a statement that I have remembered and even made a part of my life. He was older than I and was preparing to retire. His statement was that he wanted to 'finish well'. He wanted the balance of his life to be honoring unto the Lord. He wanted to use his time and abilities so that the Lord would be glorified. When I heard this I was awe-struck at the simplicity and more so by the profoundness of his statement. In my humble opinion, they are words to live by and implement in every believer's life and not just pastors.
Now, if you will consider that thought with me, you will hopefully see that it does not take coming to our later years to decide we want to 'finish well'. That decision should be at the forefront of our lives at every point. I mean I wish I had had that thought in my mind earlier in life. So that is probably why I hope that whoever you are and how old you are you will embrace this simple thought about living life in order to finish well.
As we age, a lot and I mean a lot of things change. However, the mind and the heart of who we are should not. If anything, they should become even more resolute in being all that God would desire so that it bring glory only to Him.
We all think and hope we will live a rich and full life. I know I do and I think that is a pretty common hope. Recently, Elaine and I were talking about people we have known. People we went to school with, grew up with, and worked with that are no longer here. A high school friend posted a picture recently of his brother who had passed away at a young age and memorialized him and how much he missed him. We were driving down a road in Brandon where we grew up. On that street alone there were 4 guys who had passed away very young in life. I would imagine that they all thought they would have lived longer. Yet, death is something we cannot escape. I mean if Jesus comes back, even so come quickly Lord Jesus, we will all face death. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, there is certainly no reason to fear death.
I imagine the reason I am writing this blog is because this is a new year. We are all thinking positively about the future. We have forgotten the past year and for the most part about years past. Personally, I like new beginnings. You know New Years, new seasons, new experiences and for that reason I want to enjoy each day the Lord gives me.
Psalm 118:24 says that-
This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
So that is exactly what I am doing. I did it yesterday, I'll do it today, and I'll do it the next. Each day I will rejoice because the day I am living in, the Lord has made and I sure am glad He did.
In God's Grace,