In fact, the only thing that is larger is my collection of Christmas music, which I absolutely love. As is the case for so many people, my own personal collection of Christmas songs is a combination of religious and secular music. The former includes numerous well-known carols and hymns while the latter includes an assortment of pop favorites from the 1940s up to the present day.
Unlike the more physical accoutrements of Christmas, these songs can all be neatly packed into playlists that only consume disc space on my device. Sadly, however, just like the more physical counterparts of Christmas décor, these songs too will all now be securely tucked away and left completely undisturbed for the next eleven months.
As I helped my wife pack away all of our Christmas paraphernalia, I listened to one last round of these songs. As I did, one set of lines from one song in particular struck me. They are from the song “So This Is Christmas” by John Lennon.
So this is Christmas;
And what have you done?
Another year over,
And a new one just begun.
And so this is Christmas;
I hope you have fun.
The near and the dear one,
The old and the young.
A very merry Christmas,
And a happy New Year!
Let's hope it's a good one…
Without any fear!
As yet another Christmas Day gives way to yet another New Year’s Day in general, and as 2018 gives way to 2019 in particular, I find myself haunted by these words: “Another year over.” Even more troubling are the words: “And what have you done?”
I am reminded that life itself is a precious gift - as is each and every day that the future hands us! You, like me, are a human being created by Almighty God. Alone among His creation, we have been made “in His image”. As such, we are the crowning work of God’s creative endeavor!
Also as such, we have each been uniquely gifted by Him for the sole purpose of bringing Him glory and honor! And the best way to do this is to make use of our individual God-given talents and gifts!
Now, to be sure, not everyone can paint like Leonardo, or sculpt like Michelangelo, or write like Shakespeare. Nor is everyone possessed of the skills needed to compose a musical score, to handle a ball, to employ a scalpel, or to conceive of and to invent technological wonders.
Jesus’ famed “Parable of the Talents” (in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, verses 14-30) affirms all of this in showing us that God equips each of us differently. In Jesus’ story, some are five-talent people, some are two-talent people, and some are one-talent people.
Nevertheless, God holds each of us equally accountable for how we utilize whatever He has given to us. Thus, what matters most in this life is what we each do with what we have each been given by our Creator! As a certain preacher once put it: “Life is largely about whatcha do with whatcha got!”
As 2019 unfolds, I ask those of you who visit my blog regularly to pray for me that I will find more and more ways to make the best use of what all God has entrusted to me – be that endowment material, physical, intellectual, relational, and/or spiritual in nature! In return, I shall do the same for you.
Thereafter, we can each fearlessly go forth into this new year and do our best to make it one in which we will have not only accomplished much, but also made more and more of a difference by the lives we have lead.
After all, as Jesus Himself put it (in the New Testament Gospel of Luke, chapter 12, verse 48), “to whom much is given, much is required”. Indeed, a God-given and God-endowed life is truly a terrible thing to waste!
LYRICS SOURCE: http://www.metrolyrics.com/so-this-is-christmas-lyrics-john-lennon.html.
SCRIPTURE SOURCES: https://biblehub.com/bsb/matthew/25.htm; and https://biblehub.com/luke/12-48.htm.
TITLE SOURCE: The title of today’s post comes from a classic country music song sung by Freddie Fender back in the day. In it, a man pines for a lost lover, and confronts the fact that he has now wasted far too many days and nights over the heartbreak she caused him. The lyrics themselves are a subtle reminder to put the past behind us and get on with our lives. Given that life never quite turns out the way we plan, and is often full of disappointments, this in itself is not a bad admonition for New Year’s Day!