Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year

Hope everyone had a happy New Year celebration.  One filled with fun and games, maybe a little partying and no inebriated driving home.  I remember when I was young we would sit in front of the television and watch Dick Clark all night, counting down with everyone when the ball fell in Times Square.  Now days where ever I am, we are usually wrapped up in some fun game or in animated discussion with friends until someone looks up at the clock and notices that it’s about midnight.  This year we just looked up and said, “hey it’s about that time.  Happy New Year!” and then quickly went back to the game.  Just another excuse to have fun and ponder how long it’s going to take before you quit unconsciously putting last years date on your checks.

But in the end, it’s just another day.  The change from 2005 to 2006 is just how we track the passing of time, but it was a Saturday night, and the next morning we got up and went to church, just like every other Sunday.  Paul the apostle once wrote that we shouldn’t take some days as being more important than others.  Sunday isn’t the only day of the week that we should think about God.  Christmas isn’t the only day of the year we should be thinking about Jesus.  God is our God every day.  Creating weekends and holidays are our way of breaking up the monotony and enjoying the time we have here, in this life.  We should be enjoying the time we have, and putting it to good use. 

We spend a lot of time worrying about what tomorrow will bring, and what the meaning of our life is supposed to be, or else we just ignore it and drown that feeling out with lots of partying or work. 

But it’s our final destination that determines how we live.  Those of us who understand that the end is not really the end, live our lives accordingly and take joy in the life that is given to us in the mean time. 

Think about this.  The following is from Steve Jones of

      "When I first started I had it all wrong. I was focused on the mechanics of the walk. It's turned out to be more about the journey."

      That quote is from a story on C|Net about Steve Vaulk's walk across America and it's one that I think is important in life. You can read more about the journey at if you want. It's certainly an interesting story and in these days of "reality entertainment", a potentially profitable one.

      But that quote is something that seems like it's been forgotten around the world, in every industry, not just the health and exercise one. There are sometimes quick fixes and sometimes instant gratification. But in most cases, life is a journey and learning to enjoy the journey, not the end result, is the important thing.

      We have forgotten how to be craftsmen and craftswomen in many cases, forgotten that the time spent accomplishing something is really the time to enjoy. Whether it's writing code or driving in the car with your kids. Life is short, and passes quickly. The older you get, the more you will see this to be true. I measure many things in years now that I would not have imagined even a decade ago.

      Stop and enjoy your life. Look for enjoyment in the little things. The next time that you are annoyed with your kids, your job, or something else, take a deep breath and a minute to reexamine things and enjoy the journey of getting places.

      Or at least think how relieved you'll be when things are over.

OK, except for that last line, I found this statement refreshing in a sense.  I too have gone through periods where I wondered why I do what I do and getting annoyed with little things. 

In a theological sense, I wonder if the Christian life is like the journey that Jones talks about.  Pack yourself, wife, and kids in a car for a road trip.  Are you focused entirely on the destination, or is the drive itself part of the adventure?  Certainly the destination is something to look forward to and is your ultimate goal, but this life is the journey that takes us to that end, and on the way we learn a bit more about God and ourselves.  The direction we pick will determine if we get there at all, and we’ll probably make mistakes along the way, but in the mean time the stuff that happens and the trinkets we pick up along the way are a small part of the big picture, so keep your eye on the goal, and enjoy the ride.

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