2013 is drawing to a close. I must say it has been quite the year on a personal level. When January 1 rang in the commencement of the New Year, I had visited and been an extra on a movie set exactly one time. Now as Old Man Time prepares to hand the torch over to the baby for another clean slate of months, I've been an extra on two other sets, an actor in another, and producer/actor in two others. This process has involved a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. I've made many new friends and learned a lot. In retrospect, 2013 would have to be considered perhaps the best year of my life. Yet, I have trouble rejoicing.
On the flip side, I look at the struggles and problems of the world and wonder how much longer until Jesus returns and rescues us from this mess. The powerful who prey upon the weak seem to be growing in strength and numbers. Wars and rumors of war abound. Even the weather seems to be a participant in the conspiracy to make men's lives here on earth miserable and meaningless. I can see how easy it is to get discouraged and to just walk off the track. Believe me, I've been tempted. Running the good race when it appears you're at the back of the pack and have no hope of standing on the awards platform to receive the reward for the pain and hard work, is not an easy thing. The lesson that continually hits home is that God's rewards are much more valuable than the accolades that mankind issues.
You might think that nobody understands all of the trials and sorrows and discouragement you are going through. It is possible that no one will notice if you quit running the race. But remember that God knows all. Your decision to keep putting one foot in front of the other and continuing down a course that seems to lead to nothing but more pain, heartache, and even disrespect will neither go unnoticed nor unrewarded by the Creator of the universe. Jesus is our example. He wanted the cup to pass from Him in the garden of Gethsemane, but he chose to finish His race because it was the will of the Father. Can we strive for anything less?
As all of mankind prepares to usher in a new year, a segment of the human race is continuing to attempt to usher in a new Christianity, a version which involves no suffering and no sacrifice and no requirement for obedience. The new version considers that love is always being nice to people in public (regardless of what is said behind their back) and tolerating whatever thoughts or behavior they can conjure up. Sin is just an archaic word that was applied to people in the Old Testament. Just say NO to this seemingly attractive substitute. Refuse to accept that sugar coated pill of human deification. Keep your feet on the path to Calvary. Your 2014 may bring you lots of sorrow. Just remember that Jesus was known as the man of sorrows.
To see a list of prominent people who died in 2013 go here.
Just consider that your name might be on the list for 2014. If it's your swan song on earth, what do you want to accomplish before you wrap on the movie of your life?