On the one hand, the Mayans reminded us the end of the calendar year is no big deal. The page flips and a new year begins. If Jesus’ return is delayed time will keep rolling onward in an uninterrupted stream. The squirrels don’t care if it’s New Year’s Eve. On the other hand, the end of a year is a mile marker, a reminder our lives are being spent. We have given away moments that will never return – and these moments have made up part of our lives. One way or another our days are being played out. December 31 is a demarcation that invites introspection and evaluation.
“Are you glad about who you are becoming?”
“If God gives you another few months, or even a year, what do you believe should be different about your life?”
“If your life ended today, what regrets would you have? Will you surrender them to the Lord so that by His strength and grace tomorrow will tell a new story?”
It’s like our days are a bag of grass seed poured into one of those broadcasters that sprays it out on your lawn. As the wheels of time turn, the seed drops through the slits and flies everywhere until it is gone. At first, when you have poured the whole bag of seed into the hopper, you move right along with seed flying freely and it seems the supply will never end. The level of seed seems to stay the same. That’s how time feels when you are young. But as the wheels turn and more seed flies, you begin to notice a dip in the pile of seed, subtle at first, then quite noticeably the level drops. Eventually all the seed escapes through the tiny slits. That’s how time feels when you get old.
The way I look at it, every day is like a turn of the wheel allowing a few more seeds to fall through the slit. The days of our lives are sprayed out. There is only so much seed in the hopper. And none of us gets to peek inside the hopper to see how much is left. Seed can be flying full force one day and stop altogether the next, right in the prime of life. Or it may slow down to a sputter until a few final, stubborn seeds whirl around in the bottom, refusing to fall through. Sometimes the aged cling to their final seeds like that. All we can do is see if we awaken tomorrow. If we do, then apparently seed will fly again — God has graced you with another day.
Look back. This is a good time to thank God for the seeds He has allowed you to spray to this point. Thank God for the days of your life. For the highs and lows of 2012. For the impact of your life, good and ill. Some of your seeds have planted lovely things, others foul, no doubt. Acknowledge the seed that’s gone out. The past is important. You can’t change it, but you can commit it – to the Lord.
- Thank God for the past.
- Ask God for forgiveness for the past.
- Reflect on the past.
- Realize your regrets from the past.
- Repent of the past.
- But the past is past. That seed is gone.
Look ahead. As a new year approaches, think about what you want your life to be like if God grants you more seed. You do realize there is a finite amount of seed in the hopper, right? One day it’s gone. Until then, what kind of seed will you spread?
- What kind of life will you live?
- What kind of legacy will you leave?
- What will take root and grow as a result of the days of your life?
- What kind of seed will you plant in other people? Your children? Your grandchildren? Your spouse? Your friends?
- What will grow in your neighborhood because God has placed you there to spread seed through your days?
- If God puts more seed in your hopper, it’s not just for your benefit. How will the world be different because God graced with more days?
- Is your life mission the same mission God has for you? When the seed of your days grows to full maturity what do you think it should look like?