Summary: 7 truths that will lead to 2008 being the year that you’ve always hoped for.
Living ‘The’ Life In 08’
I want to start this message out this morning by asking you to take out a pen if you haven’t already (share if you need to). And what I want you to do, on the left hand corner of your outline…or any other piece of paper. I want you to Write the year you were born – (now you can hide it with your hand if you want to) – then put a dash and then I want you to write 20__ __. Because we don’t know what the day is. Go ahead and do this – and as you are writing yours I write down the year I was born 1979.
OKAY – now I want you to look at it. LISTEN – every one of us has one of those days on left. And we all mark that day. We celebrate that day. We eat cake, blow out candles and receive gifts on that day. (I was talking to someone recently who said they were celebrating their 29th birthday, I think it was, for the 23rd time). YES - we all have one of those days on the left and do you know what we all have one of those other days too. UNDERSTAND - one day that right hand date will also be completely filled out. NOW – we don’t really like to think about it all that much – but it’s inevitable, it’s coming.
AND LISTEN - JUST as we had no control over that first date (I MEAN - I didn’t say, “Okay Thursday 6:30 am February 4th 1960 – this looks like a good day,” No, I just kind of showed up) - we also, for the most part have no real control over that other date, the day we will die, the day our physical bodies will leave this earth, the day our life here is over…
OKAY – look at those dates again. Let me ask you a question - IS THERE anything you wrote down on the left hand corner that you can control? Do you see what it is? It’s the dash. It’s the years between your birth and your death… And over that you do have control…
SO – my question to you as we begin in just a few hours a new year, is this? How are you spending your dash? What are you doing with you dash? NOW UNDERSTAND - you only get one – nobody gets two? AND LISTEN – this morning, this moment would be a real good time for you to deal with this question – because life – it goes by so quickly, doesn’t it?
(HEY – do you know what I found out, that when people so many years ago told me that the older you get the faster time goes, I found out that they were telling the truth… I can’t believe that I am 47 years old… I can’t believe how quickly this world is getting younger… I mean, Everywhere I look I keep seeing fewer and fewer old people. AND – though it is a very sobering thought, I know that I’m not too far from the day where when people see me they will comment to each other (if they aren’t already), “my, isn’t he a cute little old man.”
WE - only get one dash – and it really does go by so quickly. CHECKOUT - how God describes your dash/how he describes your life in His word… James writes;
“Why, you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14
The Psalmist writes about the brevity of life several times;
“My life is no longer than the width of my hand…human existence is but a breath…” (39:5)
“…my days disappear like smoke…” (102:3)
“…for we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow.” (144:3)
AND Job said it like this;
“…my days are running out quicker than the thread of a fast moving needle…my life is just a breath…” (7:6,7 CEV)
QUESTION – wouldn’t you agree with me, that life is unspeakably precious and unbelievably short? AND LISTEN BECAUSE – life is so precious and so short – it is really insane to waste it on stupid things…
Like being consumed with what other people think about us…
Or getting really mad at someone and just stewing over that for years & years…
Or just living in constant fear about something
Or walking through life wearing the blinders of cynicism/negativity – so that you are never able to see the awesome wonder and beauty that God has surrounded you with everyday.
LISTEN – some people ( in fact, a large number of people) get to the right-hand side of that dash and they say to themselves “I wasted my life, All those years gone…I’m not really sure how or why it happened – it just did…”