Thursday, January 01, 2009

Message for the New Year

I have linked to this message before but it is worth repeating. A new year is before us so go out and possess it.

The Point of No Return by Ray Stedman

Anyone who has ever taken a journey knows that in the process you inevitably reach a place that is called the point of no return. It is the half-way mark; you have gone so far that there is no point in going back. No matter what happens you might as well press on and you either reach the goal or your journey is a failure. In these days of extensive air travel we are frequently aware of this point of no return, for by its very nature air travel stresses the importance of this point beyond which there is no turning back.

Now the end of a year is that kind of point in time. On New Year's Eve we realize more than at any other time in our lives that we can never go back in time. Sr. Helmut Theilicke says we think differently on New Year's Eve than at any other time, for then we see time as it really is -- not as a clock with a round face where the hands come back to the same point again and again, but as a flowing river which passes a single point and never returns. On New Year's Eve we feel that we have passed a point of no return. We can look back and remember, but we cannot retrace a single moment of the year that is past. Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher whose writings have attracted so much attention these days, once said, "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."

Before us stretches a new year. We have never been to this place in time or in our lives before. Again, on New Year's Eve, we feel as we never do at any other time, though perhaps it is something we ought to feel every single day of the year. We feel the challenge of the unknown, of the unexplored, of the year ahead of us yet to be discovered. Most of us feel a bit of excitement, perhaps a bit of fear, a feeling of weakness as we come into a new year.


Listen to this message here.

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