What’s in a year? It depends on your perspective, doesn’t it? The dawning of a new year of life, as fresh as a pristine layer of newly laid snow, has an even more profound impact on me now than it did when I was younger.
Back then, I didn’t actually ponder much about what a new year meant. Oh, it signified I would become one year older and when you’re young, that seems so very important.
This is the year I become a teenager. Or this is the year I can get a driver’s license. Or this is the year I graduate from high school and move on to something better.
Or this is the year…you can fill in the blanks with your own benchmarks you may have aspired to as a youngster.
Even back in my early adulthood, I didn’t give much thought to the onset of a newly arrived beginning except possibly to make New Year’s resolutions that I never kept.
I may have considered that certain aspects of life might transpire in a newly arrived year like getting married, acquiring a different job, giving birth to children, purchasing a new home, making a move, or reaching a milestone birthday, but as I reflect back on those years, my focus always seemed zeroed in on something tangible, something concrete or physical.
But now in my later years when more than half of my expected lifespan is past, my thoughts are completely different as I contemplate 2021 stretching out before me.
What’s in a year? A year can make a huge difference in a life. A year can bring joy or sorrow, health or illness, pleasure or pain, increase or decrease, growth or atrophy. We have no way of knowing what a year may deliver to us.
But I do know one thing – a brand new year provides opportunity if we choose to take it, a chance to embrace a change, or make a difference, or impact someone else’s life.
I once read somewhere that the word year is used over 700 times in the Bible, God’s Holy Word. And I firmly believe it is God, Creator of all, who gives us not only our years but also opportunities to start over not just at the onset of a new year but at the dawn of each new day.
The question is what will I do with the time I am allotted? Will I focus on myself and my own little bubble of the world or will I reach beyond that? Will I strive to share only physical aspects of life or will I share something much deeper than that?
The most critical choice in my mind is something I believe is vital for people to know and understand – my faith in a Savior, a Redeemer, a Giver of eternal life.
Why? Because not all of us may have a year, or a day even, left on this earth. And what comes next means the difference between everlasting life and eternal death. Not all of us know or understand that there is a Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) that loves us beyond measure and He wants us to be saved from a destiny of damnation.
I searched my study Bible’s concordance for citations of the word year and found a verse that truly spoke to me located in the New Testament book of 2 Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 8: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (New International Version)
The Message, which is a modernized easy-to-read version of the Bible, puts that same verse this way: “Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”
So He gives us a new year, another opportunity. Or maybe only a day. Time to change before it’s too late.
God’s timing is that a day to Him is a thousand years, but we humans don’t have a thousand years to share our faith in Christ with others. We have only 24-hours in a day and 365 days in a year, if God so ordains. A short amount of time to tell others about the saving grace of a Savior, one who gives us a new soul.
“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year but rather than we should have a new soul.” ~ G. K. Chesterton