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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Teach me...

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 NLT)
As a new year dawns upon us and we consider the many accomplishments, heartaches, and unfinished business from the previous, it is good to just stop for a moment to consider what it is we take from the past year and what should remain behind. We want to "take" the things we can count as lessons, but we don't want to clutter up this new year with the things best left behind, such as worries, envy, and bitterness. As we "grow in wisdom" we come to understand there a just some things best left in the past and better things we need to focus on in the present!
Benjamin Franklin said, "Lost time is never found again." It makes sense, because time is something like sand slipping through our fingers and just not really able to "remade" no matter how much we try. As we look back over 2016, let us not forget the things we really might see today as disappointments - time slipping through our fingers, business not really finished, but just not really in the cards for us either. We could spend countless hours recalling all those moments and trying to reconstruct them so as to "deal with them" in the present, but honestly, they aren't worth it!
One thing I don't want us to forget is any unfinished business as it relates to us revealing the love of God through our lives or pouring it into the life of another. As we stop to really consider the brevity of life, these are the only moments of "unfinished business" we need to focus on. You might have heard the saying by Samuel Richardson, "Love can draw an elephant through a keyhole," but we don't always remember where we put the key, do we? Some of us need reminders of the unfinished business of drawing through the keyhole into 2017 what will make all the difference in this year, while allowing all the things which need not come through that door in the past.
Brevity is more than a shortness of duration, it is also a conciseness by which a matter is settled. There are some things we need to be concise about, deal with, then move on. Those are the things we don't want to have lingering along for the ride into 2017. They are the things best left in the past. The best thing we might do is just declare them unfinished business, never to be finished, and allow the dust to settle on them. Some are our failures to resolve issues we thought we might be able to, others are things we undertook that we thought we could handle but which only cluttered up our lives with complexity we didn't need. Those which are relational in nature should be dealt with quickly, so as not to continue them into this new year. Those which are failures we just want to keep beating ourselves up about should be forgiven, left in the past, and then we should square ourselves with a new focus on the present. Just sayin!