Points to Ponder: The Challenge of the Passing Years...

Points to Ponder
The Challenge of the Passing Years...

...my encounter with time" (R. M. MacIver)
Well, we're a few days into this "New Year" thing. Do you feel any better for it? What does it mean that 2009 is gone? Where did it go? I suppose it goes on a pile somewhere along with 2008, 2007, 1953, 1851, etc. Interesting to think that all of these were a "new year" at one time. When do they become old? Is a new year like a new car; it depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot (12:01 a.m. January 1st)?
What do you think makes a year either good or bad? Someone died that year; that's bad. You get a promotion; that's good. Your house burns down; that's bad. You get a great settlement from the insurance company that helps fund an even nicer house; that's good. All of this and more can happen within the same year.
Do you determine that a year of time is good or bad according to the events that have happened? And when that year has expired on December 31, where do those events go? The "old year' may be over, stacked in the warehouse of bygone eras alongside of 1973 and 1981, but where do the events that defined them dwell?
Within you.
Someone has said that you are the sum total of every decision you've ever made. Other people's decisions impact you, but still it is you who decides what to do about it. Certainly as the years accumulate in the rearview mirror, we will forget many significant events. And there are some we want to forget. But still each event in your life's journey has taken its place in that sum total of what you have done. Your past is forever a part of the present. Consider that phrase again:
Your past is forever a part of the present.
How many of us personalize the past; "my past," "your past." And the present is an objective thing we all share: "the present." We deal with all of our yesterdays in the present. And how much real time do we waste allowing something that's behind us to thwart what is directly in front of us? At this time of new beginning, before it becomes too old, take stock of your life. A year is just a number. Are you any different or better with a new number? Next year, at this time, you'll be glad it's old and gone. But where will you be then? Who will you have become?
Think it through: you can only change your past before it becomes past. The direction in which your life is heading doesn't happen to you, but with you. You are the sum total of all the decisions you have ever made. Is it time to make a new decision? Begin with asking God for His perspective. If you are seeing things from the wrong angle, how much are you missing? If you live through today by always looking behind you, what can you change? What true satisfaction or peace can you find by always dwelling on what you can't change while failing to claim the present moment which is fresh and new?
Do you know the Lord? He is the One constant in a world full of change and crisis and uncertainty.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
As you encounter time in the newness of each day, how will you approach this year? If you know the Lord, will you seek to grow deeper in your walk with Him? What will ever change for the better if you aren't seeing through His eyes all that life can be?
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Seek to understand that, and you are in for an adventure this year.

Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles (and sermons) are also found at www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com. Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days.