Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Year. . .

Today we begin another year, a new chapter in the book of our lives. What will this new chapter hold? We see those around us, in our immediate church family whose lives are very much different on January 1st 2008 than they were on January 1st of 2007. Lives forever changed by events, circumstances of health, finances, seemingly random events of car wrecks or unforeseen birth, renewal and blessings. For a truth is that life is about change. Even if nothing much remarkable happened in your life this past year, you are different. You and I are not the same people we were 365 days ago. For good or bad, we have changed. If nothing more, we have aged and with that should come greater wisdom. Unfortunately in my life I can see long decades seemingly without much movement in that direction.

Years ago, I would have said that nothing about life was constant, but change. Today I know that life is filled with change, but there is one constant and that is God. My faith is subject to change. My discipline varies with the day. My health, my finances, my job, my attitude go up and down in some crazy undulating, pendulamic sine wave, seemingly sometimes all peaking or tanking at the same time, but God is always there. The only question remaining to be answered about my life is did I keep my eyes focused upon God or did I turn away from Him and go my own way?

In the book of each of our lives there is the potential of a happy ending, a victorious ending, an ending inspiring to others, an ending displaying for all to see our inner strength that we are given by our faith in God. No matter our individual circumstances, we are all given different story lines in which to live, but within those givens are opportunities for either majestic wonders and victories or black hopeless despair. Each printed page of every book have roughly the same porportions of dark ink and white paper. That is the given, that is the raw material of our lives. It is the relationship of the inky stain and the snowy paper, that is within our control. What form do they take? In what direction do the pages lead? Both the modern novelist Stephen King and the ancient man of God, David the King faced the same blank pages when they began to write. The ancient King wrote of God's wonder and love and strength and faithfulness. We have his life giving, and strengthening Psalms. The modern writer King creates strange tales of possession and evil spirits. By him we have books that cause nightmares and terror and despair. They had the same raw material, the same medium of usage. Their focus and thereby their destinations were greatly different. That is not determined by random fate or by God. We have that choice of direction. We can choose to tenaciously hold to Him, to keep Him in our focus, to lift Him up no matter what may be happening around us or we can drift away into the fog and gloom. . . . lost forever. . .

We see those around us who have chosen to live their own lives apart from their faith in God. Theirs are stories of double tragedy. Depressing not only for the bleakness of their lives without God, but doubly dark in the thought of what for them might have been. . .

The story of my life is still being written. I desire a good ending, but that is not at all guaranteed. It is required of me to keep my eye focused upon Him, regardless of the wonders or horrors of my surroundings. If I do that I will arrive in His courtyard one day. He will greet me and give me a hug. I will be truly home and I will live in His house forever more. . .

Think of that day. . . let us keep our eye focused upon that day. Nothing else matters, but that we arrive in that wonderful courtyard and that we bring as many with us as we can. . .

I love you God. . .
Nothing else matters but You. . .

I love you all. . .

Let us have a wondrous new year.
Let us show our world the wonders and power of our Lord!!!


Dave Stokely

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