We are in the infancy of a brand new year, and while there are troops on the Russian border, and in a few days the Donald will add “POTUS” to his CV, if ever there were a time to resist the temptation to be cynical, it is now. Why? What’s the point? It is this: life and the One who created it are far bigger and more powerful than the Russians, Trump, Hollywood, ISIS, the IRS, the CIA, the FBI, or any other of the alphabet soup groups.
We are alive in extraordinary times, but for those who look for it, every season in the history of a culture or a nation is extraordinary. If it were Athens of 1817, it would have been an amazing time. Pioneers came to settle the land against all odds, and now it is a marvelous place to live. If it were before, during or after the War Between the States, it would have been as well, because there was valor, and there was renewal, neither of which came cheaply. If it were WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, or any war since, important history was being made, and stellar people drew breath and defined us as a nation. If it were the ‘50s or the ‘60s, the Civil Rights era, the Reagan administration, the Clinton administration, the Obama administration, or whatever awaits us after the 20th of this month, there is never any shortage of the potential for greatness being exhibited for all to enjoy.
Now that I am a “seasoned citizen,” I am aware more than ever that while to some my “glory days” are over, to me I am just getting started. I heard someone say today on the radio that decades ago a doctor had told him about a 95 year old man who, upon being questioned by the doctor during an annual exam, was asked the secret to his longevity and health, and the elderly man answered simply, “Never let an old man live in your body.”
That doesn’t mean dress like a teenager when you are north of 70, it doesn’t mean getting hair plugs or Botox, it means carefully nourishing your whole being so that there is something that is transcendent of age which then becomes your signature, and you make it legible for the willing to read. And, for the discerning, it is becoming a being on whom our Maker can leave His fingerprints without hesitation.
This past year was both glorious as well as seemingly impossible on a number of fronts, but on we trudge toward the City made without hands. There were relationships that blew up, and relationships that were restored. I ran several 5Ks, and am preparing for my next one later this month. In a few days I am going to go on my first cruise to the Bahamas, the first true vacation I have had in awhile. I am genuinely excited, even thrilled, but the portending diversion does not allow me to escape my question, “What is the point?” I think the best way to answer it is to remember the words of Micah when he said, “He has shown thee oh man what is good, and what does the Lord require of thee. But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” That is the point in any era, and oh, the stories we shall have to tell if we make it our quest. So, Happy New Year, dear Athenians! Find your “point,” and make it sharp.