A whisper in the wind

Man jumping over 2013Time flies! Everyone I speak to feels that the years are passing faster than ever. A few months ago 2012 was only just beginning, and now it’s nearly over! Here in the UK this year we’ve celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games and ‘enjoyed’ the wettest summer for 100 years. In Europe scientists announced the discovery of the elusive Higgs Boson particle, and the Costa Concordia cruise ship found itself at the centre of one of Italy’s worst maritime disasters. In Asia there’s been severe flooding in the Philippines, and Xi Jinping became the new Chinese leader. In the Middle East there have been worries over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the tragic Syrian civil war and a few miles further south nearly 800 Gazan rockets were fired into Israel in 2012 before Israel finally responded in November. Superstorm Sandy brought death and destruction in the Caribbean, before going on to wreak havoc in the north-eastern states of the USA. Over New Mexico Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, made the highest and fastest jump in history from a helium balloon at an altitude of 128,100 feet.

Much has happened in a relatively short time – including many other important events, but that’s not always the case for us all. If we’re not careful time can quickly fly by with little being achieved. How was 2012 for you? Did you manage to accomplish as much as you’d hoped? Unless we take stock of our time it will quickly slip through our fingers. 3,000 years ago King David wrote, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered — how fleeting my life is. … My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; certainly, everyone alive is like a whisper in the wind.” (Psalm 39:4-5)

In the light of eternity we are here for a relatively short time – “a whisper in the wind”, so the beginning of a new year is a good time to think about our priorities in life. The time quickly comes when we can look back twenty, thirty, even forty years over our adult life, and realise that we can’t change our past and that our future is shorter than it once was. So 2013 offers us a whole new start to make the most of our time, by reassessing our priorities and making the most of every opportunity. As Moses once prayed, “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. … So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a wise heart.” (Psalm 90:4, 12)

I hope that 2013 will be a blessed year for you, a year when you accomplish your goals yet find time to rest, when your priorities are ones that you’ll look back on with gladness, and, whatever your situation, may God be your guide. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year!

2012 - written in the sand
Time passes

A very Happy New Year to you all!

What a year 2011 turned out to be; earthquakes in Christchurch, NZ; an earthquake and tsunami in Japan; political earthquakes spreading across the Arab world; financial earthquakes in Europe; the death of Osama Bin laden; a tragic shooting incident in Norway; disastrous storms in the USA; a new nation in Africa, South Sudan, and two royal weddings in the UK! Will 2012 be more of the same?

On a more personal level, today is the first working day of a new year for many of us. What sort of year are you hoping for? A happier one? A more successful one? Are you hoping to weigh less, drink less or spend less? And what are you bringing with you into 2012?

Were you hurt last year? Were you cheated? Did you fail last year? I know I did. Some of us begin a new year by bringing with us the disappointments, the failures and the regrets of the past twelve months. These sorts of things weigh us down. Forgiveness and letting go of the past can work wonders. Now is an opportunity for a new start; last year has gone. Look ahead, not back to the past. You can’t undo the past, but you can improve on it.

Our Creator is continually working to make things new, and He wants to do the same in your life, if you’ll let Him. As God once said through the prophet Isaiah:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Time passes, and as it does we can be reassured that His love for us never falters. Another prophet, Jeremiah, also spoke for God, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)