If, by chance, you stayed up December 31 until midnight and crossed that magical line into January 1, 2018, and from that point you were to live until December 31 of this year, you will have used up 31,536,000 seconds. That’s a huge mountain of seconds. I break the year down into seconds because that is basically the way it will come to you. We know in this day and time that a second can be broken down into smaller parts but generally speaking, it’s about as small as we deal with.
It’s just about the snap of your fingers – one second. If you put sixty of them together, you’ll get a minute. If you want to just see them as they come in clusters, 86,400 of them make up one day. For 2018, if we live, we will have the mountain of 31,536,000 seconds. I think about Joshua as he was leading the people of God into a new land with new horizons and new mountains. The Lord spoke and said in Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” What a great promise as we enter into this new landscape of 2018. What a wonderful truth to keep before us as we scale this mountain of over 31,000,000 seconds. As you launch into this adventure of a new year, let me just point out to you what the substance of the year is all about.
First: It is an evaluation. It is a great time to stop and think about where you’ve been and even more importantly, where you’re going. I break a year down into seconds because it’s almost a momentary snap of your fingers kind of thing that you make a decision. You may have thought about it a lot, but you make it in a moment and you begin a new thing in your life. As the year unfolds, no doubt many of us will make good decisions, right decisions, God-honoring decisions, and no doubt we may make some wrong decisions, bad decisions, harmful decisions.
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). These things of the world that you may need to exist, that you worry about so much. You put God first and He will keep you first and will guide you into right decisions. At the end of the year and on the other side of the 31,000,000 seconds that you will be living out, you will look back and realize that for the most part your life has been shaped by an unending series of decisions you have made, and those decisions are open before God.
In a sense, that’s what life is — the unending shaping of your life by the shaping of your life before God. I wouldn’t encourage you just to make some New Year’s resolutions because they come and go regardless of what it is. Stopping something or starting something, eating less or walking more, it all falls by the wayside, typically, in just a few days. When you look at each moment of life, each second of life, and tilt your heart toward God to ask Him to have His way, His plan and purpose in your life, you will find that as the seconds go by, the Lord comes and wraps your life in His wonderful grace and strength and love and begins to make His difference in your life. Take a moment of evaluation as you use these seconds of 2018 and let God mold and make you one second at a time.
Secondly: It’s not only a time of evaluation. It’s a time of expectation. No doubt, 2018 will have trials and triumphs. Will every day be sunny? No. Will every day be rainy? No. Life is a great experience of the combination of challenges and celebrations. There will be throughout the year some new endings, and with each one of the new endings, you will find the possibilities of a new beginning. There are great expectations that you can have of the new year because the Lord has plans for you. When you walk with Him, you will discover that on the sunny days God is there doing wonderful things. On the rainy days, you will find that God is there doing amazing things. Don’t miss out on the expectations. The Bible is filled with the word, faith. Trust God. Trust Him to lead you. Trust Him to work when the sun is shining and when you think it’s never going to shine again. Trust Him because He will walk with you, and He will take the mountain of seconds and begin to unfold and unveil the great expectations of what He wants to do in your life.
Third: The new year is also a time of exhilaration. We call it the new year, although if you didn’t know and you weren’t watching the television or listening to the countdown of the old year, it would just be the passing of time over a midnight hour of your existence. However, there is something new about it. There is something exhilarating about it. The ancient Hebrews called their new year Rosh Hashanah, which translated is “the head of the year.” They celebrated it, but what they found out is what you and I find out pretty quickly is that the head of the new year, the new year celebration, turns into the sameness of life, the plainness of life, and it is possible to become cynical about the whole thing and think that that’s all that life is.
Whoa, wait, no. Life, this mountain of 31,000,000+ seconds per year, is filled with moments of love and hope and strength and goodness and blessings and surprises and the presence of God over and over, refreshing you and lifting you and enabling you to face the next second. As the old Latin phrase says, “carpe diem,” capture the day. Let the Lord help you to capture the moments of life. When you, day by day looking to Him, letting Him shape your life, letting Him guide your. days and ways, you will come to the other side of the mountain looking back and saying, “Dear God, thank You for the mountain of seconds you gave me in 2018.”
As Joshua tells us, God knows where we are. God knows where He is leading us. He will be there. If we’re facing the armies and the difficulties and the obstacles, God will be there. Trust Him. Lean upon Him, and let Him bless every second of your life.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.