How did this happen? I'm looking at the calendar and realizing that another year has flown by and we are once again about to embark on a new year. I remember as a kid that time sometimes seemed to go by so slowly. Sometimes a week felt like a year (especially around Christmas or my birthday). I hear it now in my own children. One of them has a birthday and then they're already looking to the next one and wondering how much longer till their special day rolls around one more time.
As an adult, though, I've seen a shift. Rather than time dragging, it oftentimes feels like it's flying. It doesn't seem like I should be coming up on my ten year wedding anniversary. There's no way my oldest should be six and my baby should be three. And there's certainly no reason that I should be finding a few gray hairs here and there. Wasn't I just in college?
The Bible clearly points out the brevity of our time here. Psalm 103:15-16 tells us: As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone. Though as a child our concept of time is different (perhaps because we've lived such a short time--a year probably seems a lot longer when you've only lived five years rather than thirty five years), as an adult we begin to understand the truth in these verses.
Our time here on earth is short. The Bible mentions seventy years--or eighty, if we have the strength (Psalm 90:10). Now most of us probably know someone who made it past eighty years, and far too many of us also know someone who died far before it seemed like he should. I take 70 or 80 to be a number representing the average life expectancy, and I bring it up to say this: What are you doing with your 70 or 80 years? If you're like me, what are you going to do with the 40 or so years you may have left?
I know that many people come up with "resolutions" for the new year. That's a good start, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about. What are you (what am I?) going to do to make an impact on this world before you leave it? A hundred years after you've lived, people will probably not be talking about you and what you looked like or how smart you were. But you can leave a legacy. Each one of us has the opportunity to change the world--whether it be for one person or one million people.
Maybe this is the year you really do start serving food at the homeless shelter. Maybe this is the year you actually meet your neighbors and invite them to church. Maybe this is the year you stop seeing your marriage trouble as failure and resolve to get help to make things better. Maybe this is the year you leave your work at the office so that you can fully engage in your family. Maybe this is the year. What is it for you? What is God calling you to in 2010?
We've established that life is short and time goes by quickly, so what are you going to do that might not just change someone else's life but might change yours, too?
Happy New Year--make it count!