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A Heart For God: An Optimistic Cynic in the New Year

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

An Optimistic Cynic in the New Year

I don't do New Year's Eve. What I mean by that is I don't stay up 'til twelve, I don't participate in the countdown as the bell tolls and I don't shout "woot woot" when the clock strikes midnight. And it's not that I'm against having fun and celebrating and getting excited. I'm not against any of that at all. But I am getting older, it's past my bedtime (I'm almost always asleep by nine~I'm a morning person~check out the date stamp on this post) and quite frankly, it's just a change on the calendar after all ~ December 31st to January 1st, isn't it? All cynics (me) and cynicism aside (not), there are a number of superstitions associated with New Year's and New Year's Eve that I was considering recently. (Thanks to "In Season" December Real Estate mailer.) You may have heard of some of these:

(1) Starting out the New Year with your cupboards full, bills paid and debts settled is said to guarantee prosperity and riches. (I'll use my credit card for the food?)

(2) Schedule a friend to drop by with a gift so that you're adding (versus subtracting) from your household. (This will "guarantee" prosperity and riches just in case #1 doesn't work?)

(3) Eat beans (contributing to global warming?), black-eyed peas and lentils (wasn't that a movie?) to attract good luck.

(4) At midnight on New Year's Eve shriek, shout and scream to rid yourself of the evil spirits that are around. (Don't you know the devil scares that easily?)

I share these superstitions (and in a cynical sort of way) to point out the foolishness of belief in them versus trusting in God. He alone controls the future. He alone moves history according to His desire and plan. He alone has power over demonic forces. (It's enough to make a cynic optimistic!) You don't need to shriek, shout and scream. You don't need to eat beans, black-eyed peas and lentils. (Who likes that stuff any way?) You don't need to set up a friend to bring you a gift. Neither do you need to charge your credit card to fill the cupboards. You just need to place your faith in Jesus and His Word in 2010. And everything will be okay. And everything will turn out right. Who needs to hear it?

"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

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Blogger said...

A very good Christian perspective. Thanks pastor for sharing this. Would like to read more of your blogs. Philip Verghese 'Ariel' from Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

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