If you are reading this article, the December 21 doomsday prophets were wrong. The Mayan's did not foresee the end of time ... they just didn't take their calendar out any further.
(Rumor has it now that there was a miscalculation and the "end" is coming in December of 2016. Why do these prophets always target a presidential election year as the end of the world?)
Even though the end of the world has not come, the end of a year is quickly approaching and a new year is dawning. (I can tell because of all of the health club ads and new diet programs). This is a time for reflection, and a time for anticipation of what "can be" for us in the coming year.
Years ago I was deeply impacted by a book written by Og Mandino entitled "The Greatest Salesman in the World." He presented several life principles that were relevant for everyday living. One of those principles was, "I will live this day as if it were my last." It was a clear message to make the most of our time. Will you consider living life to the fullest in 2013?
During a quiet time of prayer I sensed the Lord encouraging me to preach every sermon as if it were my last, or that it might be the last sermon the hearers would ever hear. That dramatically changed my preaching. It elevated the sense of urgency to be clear and to present a message that gave both encouragement and challenge. The truth is each sermon could be my last, and it could be the last of those who hear.
Life is fragile and fleeting. Recently I sat with a couple who had just lost their son-in-law. They had spoken with their daughter on Friday, making plans for the four of them to enjoy a Saturday together. But on Friday evening he was rushed to the ER, and was gone within 48 hours.
In the movie "Braveheart," William Wallace makes this statement: "All men die. Few men really live!"
Jesus told a bunch of people who were alive that He had come to give abundant life. He made it clear that there was a difference between being alive and really living! That's what 2013 can hold in store for us.
The Psalmist wrote, "teach me to number my days." Our days are numbered, so what are you doing with your number?
As we begin 2013, may each of us give a little more, be a bit kinder, enrich the lives of others by what we say and do, and may we be grateful for each new day.
Have a blessed and abundant New Year.