“We can never know about the days to come. But we think about them anyway….I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways. So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now. And just stay right here ’cause these are the good old days.” – Anticipation, Carly E. Simon, 1971.
I’ll be frank. I just took my 2017 wall calendar off the wall in my study and tossed it ever so quickly into the trash can. I felt like taking a shower afterwards. Let’s face it, as a whole, 2017 was a year I would like to forget. It was laced with hatred, anger, riots, bloodshed, bullets and bombs. 2017 dished up harsh, lewd words vomiting out of the mouths of regarded people in pop culture, news anchors, politicians and around the family dining table. The past year was armed with mass murders, anarchists and thought police. 2017 seemed to water and fertilize individuals who were so sensitive they had to create unrest and violence because they heard another opinion than their own. The year brought up many who reveled in dishonoring and ripping apart sacred sites, sacred ideas and even targeted houses of worship. The old year spotlighted the horror of the powerful demanding, even forcing, sexual favors while bartering with those subservient in the social strata. Nature rumbled at 2017 with multiple earthquakes, record-setting hurricanes, floods and wildfires. This blogger wrote about much listed here. With exception in some areas (I married a wonderful lady in April), 2017 was severely ugly in my line of vision.
With all of that said, 2018 is very much like the photo above. It’s a blank sheet of paper. Unlike my new 2018 wall calendar, this clean sheet of paper isn’t divided up by dates and months. Freedom is its message. There’s nothing written on it on this January 1st. Do you see its liberty? It shouts out something like, “BEWARE, TIME SURFER! THE PEN IS IN YOUR HAND. WRITE WHAT YOU WILL!”
However, before you begin to MAKE your 2018 happen, take a closer look at the paper above. Notice it is notebook paper. It has straight horizontal lines to help guide your jots of thoughts. Make your way, your thoughts, your life as straight as you can, as it pertains to you. Remember the old lyric, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…” State what you plan to do, with intentional purpose, as an objective, not a reaction. Each line offers that freedom. What a gift!
It is very important to notice in the photo that the page in which 2018 is represented is a short one. Unfortunately, it is not much longer than the pen itself. 2017 went by with lightening speed and so will 2018. The older you live, the quicker the 12 months warp by you. Yes, you have 12 months, but do not allow the grass to grow under your feet. Remember, be intentional, but progressive in initiation. Otherwise, the perception of standing still becomes reality.
Lastly, you can see in the photo, the pen is just laying there. Like the frozen Niagara Falls, it is motionless. The pen will not write on its own. It takes a writer, like yourself. You can gaze at it, speak to it, blow on it, pray over it, but at the end of the day, it does nothing. The pen is just a utensil, nothing more, nothing less.
Here, I must add, you have zero control what others will write on their page, so be ready when another’s actions intersect, disrupting your written lines. They tend to carry large erasers and are eager to use them. But for now, you MUST pick up the pen and write your own 2018 story.
If you follow my blog, you know I am a practicing Christian. Because I rest on biblical truths, I will remind you of my belief. There is an Almighty One Who holds your future. Your days are numbered, the hairs on your head are also numbered. 2018 will be vetted by the Maker of Days. Yet, He says that we are to choose well in life, regardless of His unknown manuscript for 2018. It’s a clear sign of “free-will” given as a gift for the new year. He is well-known for this. A few thousand years ago He too had a clean slate to write on. In doing so, He wrote of a perfect recipe for righteous, healthy living. God’s clean slate became the 10 commandments. It’s been the gold standard each and every year since. Sure, you will not be able to uphold them all in 2018, nobody can, but that is where grace through Jesus comes to relieve you of failure. 2018 would be a great year to trust in that gift.
“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions….When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” Solomon – Ecclesiastes 7:1 & 14. (NIV)