I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman
Spaceship earth. That’s where I live. Even though it’s a really big and awesome planetary craft – okay, floating orb – I am seldom cognizant of this celestial ride I am taking through the cosmos. Too busy living out each day, I guess.
Diverse thinkers throughout human history have called “time” an illusion. They say that time isn’t really “real”, just an artificial construct of the brain. Well, real or not, the perceived clock keeps right on ticking and we can neither slow down nor reverse its relentless march forward. So, I ask myself, “Why are so many people trying (albeit in vain) to redo yesterday?” How about you? Stuck in the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” matrix?
When I was a child, there was a nursery rhyme, a single quatrain, which went something like this:
“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
couldn’t put Humpty back together again.”
In other words, good or bad, right or wrong, what is done is done. There are no life “do-overs” or “my life stinks, I think I ‘ll just hit the reset button, reload the software and start over from birth.” Granted, you can change direction, take a new path, even “reinvent yourself” a time or two during your journey; but once that lifetime is over, well, you are out of second (third, fourth and fifth) chances, my friend.
The average life expectancy of a newborn (2018) is about 78 years. Depending upon when you were born (and lifestyle), your average life expectancy may be considerably lower. But even if you were to live to be 100 years old, the question still remains: Are you taking full advantage of the finite number of years that you have?
Instead of waking up every day lamenting what you woulda, coulda, or shoulda done, why not listen to a bit of advice from this very wise Newer Testament biblical writer named Paul. He said,
13 “…I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race of life and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to the heaven because of what Jesus the Christ did for us.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
So let me ask you, “What are you doing with your life?” Better yet, “what are you doing today?” Moment by moment, only you can live your life. Before you know it, time will expire (real or not). Perhaps you had better make every second count while you still can.
Many times, the decisions you make affect and hurt your closest friends and family the most. I have a lot of regrets in that regard. But God has forgiven me, which I am very thankful for. It has enabled me to forgive myself and move forward one day at a time.” ” Lex Luger
My reference for a solid and reliable world view is rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic as revealed in the pages of Holy Scripture. The wisdom contained within its numerous stories and illustrations helps me to see the world for what it really is. Passages like this:
15-17“Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. For the whole world-system, based as it is on men’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions and the glamor of all that they think splendid, is not derived from the Father at all, but from the world itself. The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die.” John 1:9-13 (Phillips)
Did he say, “Never give your heart over to the things of this world?” I know, I know, that’s a pretty tall order. It requires us to guard our human spirit with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). It takes discipline to keep our mind, will and emotions (the human soul) from being enamored by the ways of this world. It means we have to place our affections on things beyond this brief space-time journey.
All societies have values, principles and philosophies which form their organizational foundations, and we all live in these secular social systems. But what happens when the flow of earthly cultures run ever more contrary to the course of Divine order? How do we respond? Good question. The answer is: we defy the flow of those social structures. Why? Simple, the bulk of this current world-system is built upon greed driven ambition, base desires and false glamour. In short, our culture is fated to fail. What to do? Avoid the culture trap and you will sidestep the failure. We who have chosen to follow the Divine blueprint are simply no longer comfortable being “of” this world order.
If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis
I have given up on the practice of making New Year’s resolutions. I only end up despondent and depressed a few weeks later when I fail to live up to them. The nature of most New Year’s resolutions is inherently short-term. I prefer to set priorities for my life and then measure my progress throughout the year. How about you? Have you set any goals for the year? Now is a great time to do so!
With that in mind, let me suggest one or two priorities that you might take under consideration in the coming year. First, get to know the Divine plan for YOUR life a little better every day. Find ways to be of service to the Almighty by exercising your talents and gifts with joy and faithfulness. “Much is expected from the one who has been given much, and the more a man is trusted with, the more people will expect of him.” (Luke 12:48)
Also, remember to fight the “Good Fight of Faith.” Here on Spaceship Earth, our battles are against spiritual enemies (not one another). Forget society’s methods when confronting evil. The Almighty One is a boundless resource from whom we draw our strength and wisdom. The good fight of faith requires that we know our foes and dress appropriately. Listen to this from the Bible:
“Put on God’s complete armor so that you can successfully resist all the evil one’s methods of attack. For of all, our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still hold your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you.” (Ephesians 6:10-17)
Wow. That’s radical. But, the rebel Jesus was considered radical too. So were all of his early disciples. We who follow after Him today are a spiritually radical bunch also.
Anyway, good or bad, right or wrong, what is done is done – and so am I. Let’s fire up the thrusters and buckle-up; it’s time for another crazy trip around the sun!
Happy New Year
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656