You know how you get a song trapped in your brain and you keep repeating it over and over again? That is what has been happening to me. I’ve got that John Lennon tune “Happy Christmas” stuck in my head. Actually, it’s sort of appropriate and goes like this:
“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young”
It’s the question that is so right on as we approach the end of another year. “And what have you done?” Now that is an interesting question, especially for those of us who are “acheiver types.” If you look back with that question in mind, you may get some interesting answers. You may even say to yourself, “thank God I get another chance in 2011 because I couldn’t get it all done in 2010.” I’m not sure what 2010 meant to you, but as we begin to come against 2011, I can’t help but think of the past and an opportunity to do something more with my life next year.
It’s interesting that the lessons for New Year’s Day are from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13. That well known passage that Pete Seeger made famous in 1959. It speaks about there being time for everything and that our life is marked by time. There is a time to be born, a time to die and you know how it goes. The interesting thing about time is that you can’t get it back. Bobby Darin knowing that he had a bad heart and probably wouldn’t live to a ripe old age used to always use the poker term “let’s double down.” This meant of course to increase your bet or in his case the intensity to which he needed to live his life.
I often feel the same way. I don’t like to let time slip away without using it in a proper way. Sometimes it just slips through our fingers and before you know it, you’re looking back with regret about what you have missed or what might have been. New Year’s is an interesting time and people always make fun of those who make resolutions that they never seem to keep. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying. There is nothing worse than being appathetic or cynical about the gift of life that we have been given. And make no mistake about it, it is a gift.
I did run across a quote recently attributed to Malcolm Muggeridge who was an atheist much of his life, but late in the game became a rather devout Christian. In his spiritual autobiography he talked about his late in life conversion to Christ. He entitled his autobiography “Chronicles of Wasted Time.” There is a sense in which, until God shows up in our time, all of our time tends to be wasted time. It is an interesting thought and I’m not sure how I would respond to it, however even with the good fortune of having faith, I still find myself wasting time or at least not using it in positive and productive ways.
At the end of every year, I have to reiterate what is in our confession – “Lord forgive me for the things that I have done and for the things that I have left undone.” I’m not sure which phrases hit me harder but I am not a person who likes to live with regret, especially the regret of not doing something I should have done or missing out on something I could have experienced. I suppose it is all part of the game we call “life”, but my prayer this year is that 2011 will be a great year filled with opportunities. May you grab on to as many as you can.
HAPPY 2011 !!!