In recent years we have been deluged with “end-times” paranoia, ranging from vague and scary apocalyptic prophecy to specific day-and-hour predictions. The highly dubious “Left Behind” media empire made a fortune for its creators by whipping some sectors of the Christian world to near hysteria with ominous interpretations of nebulous biblical passages.
That paved the way for broadcaster Harold Camping to rouse the world with his biblical prediction that all would end on May 21, 2011, the day when the faithful would fly up to heaven, just as brimstone rained down upon the damned. But on May 22 the sun arose upon the good and the bad alike. And now we have just witnessed the whole craziness over the “Mayan Calendar” prediction.
Had enough? I sure have.
Even so, I’ve created my own “end of world” prediction — one that is entirely true, based on Scripture and scientific evidence. And based on my prediction, I’ve crafted New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.
Here’s my prediction: My world on earth will end sometime between now and 2058. That will be the year, if I live so long, that I will be 100 — 25 years beyond the current average lifespan for a North American male. I will die and then I will fly up to heaven, my time on earth done.
But as for the day and hour when the end of my world comes? Well, as Jesus said in Matthew 24:36, only God knows. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Accidents happen, as do crimes of violence, and disease claims many before their days have reached maturity. So my days under the sun will definitely end sometime between today and 2058.
And know what? Yours will, too, eventually.
The takeaway lesson? There’s no time to lose, no time to waste, no time to spend on things unimportant. Got it. So here are my New Year Resolutions:
-I resolve to trust in God. Not in myself, my education, my intelligence, my instincts, and not even my good looks and boyish charm. Trust in God. That means letting go of the illusion that I am (or need to be) in control. I will do the best I can with my education, my intelligence, my instincts – and even my good looks and boyish charm – and trust God to do the rest.
-I resolve to be fearless. My life is in God’s hands, so what have I to fear? But being fearless is not the same as being reckless or stupid. It means going through life confidently and deliberately, setting worthwhile, godly goals and working to make them a reality.
-I resolve to be bold. Since we are living without fear and there’s no time to waste, why waste time on half-hearted endeavors that, by virtue of their weakness, will yield only half-hearted results (we have Congress for that)? Be bold, yes, but be smart and bold, be methodical and bold, be well-thought-out and bold.
-I resolve to tell and show the people around me how much I love them. Starting with family and friends, but also people in my congregation and community. Taking seriously Jesus’ command to love my neighbor as myself, I will work ceaselessly to make it a reality every day.
-I resolve to be happy. I am a child of God, so I have everything I need (so says Psalm 23, right?). But moreover, I live in the United States of America, have a good job, health (and healthcare), a loving family and circle of friends. So what reason have I to be unhappy? None whatsoever. Those everyday ups and downs that I take so seriously? Not so troublesome in the big picture.
These resolutions will serve me well until the end of my days. What resolutions will YOU make?
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