Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why Nature has no New Year...

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.  Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.  ~Thomas Mann

Why DOESN’T nature celebrate New Year’s?  Babbling brooks don’t reverse and flow the opposite way, the earth’s rotation doesn’t change, and the phases of the moon don’t reset.  December 31st is of no concern to the mountains, oceans, or seas.  So, why do we need to mark the passage of another 365 days?  Why do we, human beings, think we are somehow starting fresh when we wake up on January 1st?

It’s actually quite simple; we long for a “fresh start” because we still search for the missing piece to our lives, and we think that it takes becoming our ideal selves in order to find that piece.  So, we see the greatest opportunity for change to be a brand new calendar year.

First we must acknowledge that there is a big difference between human beings and nature.  Nature was designed by God to reflect his power and majesty.  Nature has, from the beginning, and still to this day, served the purpose of worshiping God and revealing his glory. 

Man, however, was created to be a companion to God; designed in God’s own image with a mind and the ability to choose.  Unfortunately, man chose NOT to glorify God; man chose to glorify and worship himself.  Because of man’s decision to blatantly defy God, his creator, man is left with a missing part.  His heart cannot be completely filled until he can again live as one with God; undefiled and in submission to the one who designed and created him.

So now, our brains and our hearts are in conflict with one another.  Our brains want us to be god of our own lives.  We make choices that we think will make us happy, that we think will bring us peace; choices that God has specifically given us instructions NOT to make.   This leaves an emptiness in our hearts because our truest companion, God himself, is separated from us; leaving a hole in our hearts.

Evie has a hole in her heart.  Here is the basic description of what happens and what will eventually happen over time because of this hole, if we do not fill it.
Blood is normally pumped through the chambers of the heart in the process of circulating throughout the body.  But, because Evie has a hole in heart, one of the chambers gets a little bit of blood that trickles back in rather than getting pumped all the way back through.  Over time, that little bit of blood will become a larger amount of blood as microscopic amounts trickle back into the lower chamber with each pump.  The heart wants to get that blood out of the chamber, so it will work harder and harder to do so, and will start to get bigger and harden; just like the muscles in a body-builder!  As the body-builder works harder and lifts heavier weights, his or her muscles grow tougher and bigger.

People with a hole in their heart need to have that hole filled in order to keep the heart healthy and prevent that hardening process from taking place.  It’s a fairly simple process during which a scope is sent up through the artery in the leg and then a small balloon like device will inflate and fill the heart.  The patient stays over-night and has an ultrasound the next day to ensure that the balloon-like devise is still in place and functioning properly.  The patient will have to return for check-ups with the cardiologist every few weeks, and then every few months…and gradually the patient will not have to check in frequently with the cardiologist anymore as long as everything stays healthy and functions properly.
So, what does this have to do with New Year’s Eve?  I guess I’m trying to figure out how each person can fill the hole in their heart with God so that he or she never has to have another BIG New Year’s Resolution.  

Let’s talk about me, as an example.  I, as a human, have a missing piece of my heart because I have chosen to try to play God in my life.  I make selfish decisions, and am tempted to do things that God has told me specifically not to do.  The hole in my heart allows sin to continue to seep back into my life, little by little, with each beat of my heart. 
Bah-boom…if I get a nice new phone, I’ll feel better.
Bah-boom…I don’t feel pretty enough; I need someone to give me attention, and that will make me feel better.
Bah-boom…I’m feeling stressed out; I should go shopping and buy myself something new, that will make me feel better.

Meanwhile, my heart works harder and harder to rid itself of the sin that is seeping back in through the hole.  It grows tougher and stronger because of all the extra work it’s doing, and that makes me grow tired and stressed.

What I need to do, actually, to fill that hole once and for all is allow God back in to my life…as God, not just as who I think God should be.  

I need to renew my understanding of God’s word; his instructions for my life daily, just like a check-up with my cardiologist to ensure that balloon is still filling the hole and no sin is seeping back into my heart.  

I need to pray daily, and keep my communication with my ‘cardiologist’ open and honest so I can listen to guidance on how to live my life and keep my heart healthy.  

In short, the renewal that happens on New Year’s Eve for many is not enough to heal our heart condition.  We must ensure that we celebrate New Day’s Eve.  God even created nature to give us a day and a night; a distinct time that is punctuated by the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate our bodies and minds.   

Let’s start each day, let’s recognize each sunrise, as what it is:  a chance to begin again.  

Nature understands that…why don’t we?

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