Timeless Faith for A Time Conscious World: Thoughts for New Year’s Day
The Riley family in Bethlehem, Israel at the Church of the Nativity – January 2017
Happy New Year everyone! How was your News Year’s Eve Celebration? Hopefully it was safe and filled with love and laughter. Now that we have turned the page to a new year I want to offer you a few thoughts of which to be mindful as you begin this year with hope and anticipation.
Have you ever wished you could stop time? Sure you have. Sometimes moments come into our lives and we just don’t want to leave them. We want them to last. Just about every moment I shared with my family on our pilgrimage to Israel was like that. I have good news! No, you cannot stop time but you can enter into the timelessness of eternity. How? I’m glad you asked.
If you are like me, you are probably saying to yourself, “How can it be 2020 already?” I mean, where does the time go? The answer to that question is – nowhere. Time does not move, we do. Time only exists as a creation of God for we humans to mark our days and nights. Time isn’t what, where, or how real life is lived. Real, authentic life is lived in the eternal presence of God through faith.
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:16 NLT
There really is a lot of wisdom in the old saying, “Sometimes, you need to stop and smell the roses.” And when the roses are gone (as all flowers fade) we can still recall their scent vividly when we set our mind to try. When we become mindful that all of our lives were lived out in the heart and mind of the Living God before they ever came into being in this world, we can realize that our past memories and experiences are never really gone; they are waiting for us in the heart of God so that we can recall them into our present existence. This is why some memories are so powerful. God allows a past experience or memory to become fresh in our mind and hearts all over again when we enter into them through faith and mindfulness.
This New Year’s Day, I want to encourage you to meditate for a while on all the blessings God has brought you through. Recall former days with family and friends, many of whom may no longer be with us physically. Realize that life… all life… is eternal. Our loved ones whom we miss so much in the present are truly here with us if we will but remember them. Allow God to bring them into our present and hear and feel their love once again.
Nothing can separate us from each another, not even death when we live through faith in Christ and His eternal love (Romans 8:38). To live in Christ, as St. Paul writes, is to be mindful that this life we live in time and space is mystically hidden in the very life of Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He only gives true life – abundant life (John 10:10).
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 CEB
My prayer for you today is to remember life and all of God’s blessings. Live today in the fullness and mindfulness of the moments you have experienced and are experiencing. And as you remember you will forget about time, for a while anyway. Oh, the sun will eventually set on this day we call January 1, 2020. However, the sun will never set on our memories of this day as we recall them in the heart and mind of our loving God.
A Happy & Blessed New Year to you all!