Summary: God has a plan He wants us to follow.
Seize the Day
In March of 2000, the small town of Fruita, Colorado, received a unique new sculpture on a downtown corner. Lyle Nichols unveiled his four-foot masterpiece of Mike the headless chicken. It’s a reminder of what happened in Fruita sixty years earlier. Lloyd Olsen, a farmer, lopped off the head of one of his chickens in the 1940s. Wanting to preserve as much of the neck as possible for dinner, he laid his ax at the base of Mike’s skull. Rather than roll over and die, this chicken became a bizarre piece of history.
Olsen not only didn’t eat the bird, he actually started to care for it. Mike could go through the motions of pecking for the food but couldn’t get anything. When he tried to crow, only a gurgle came out. The farmer fed this strange chicken with an eyedropper, and after a week of survival, he took Mike to some scientists at the University of Utah. They theorized the chicken had enough brain stem left to live without his head. Mike made it into Life magazine and the Guinness Book of World Records. He also became quite an attraction until he choked to death on a kernel of corn in an Arizona motel eighteen months after surviving the chopping block.
I know some of you think I made this up but you can check out my research by logging on to: www.miketheheadlesschicken.org
Mike the headless chicken might describe some of us who move through the motions of life without the Head of Christ to guide us. We may have movement and life, but not much direction.
Every year we are inundated with the year in review specials.
CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all did video reminders of what the year was like.
Time, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report printed reviews of the year.
People Magazine did their supposedly 25 most intriguing people and Life Magazine always helps us remember the year in printed pictures.
MTV, VH 1 and CMT remember the year by naming the top videos of the year.
Many of the magazines also include articles by experts predicting what they expect to see happening in the years ahead. Some even go so far as to make predictions covering 10, 20, or more years in the future. In the past, a few of these predictions have proven amazingly accurate, while others couldn’t have been more wrong.
For example, back in 1967, experts predicted that by the turn of the century technology would have taken over so much of the work we do that the average American work week would be only 22 hours long, & that we would work only 27 weeks a year. As a result, one of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time.
I think we all know that didn’t happen for most of us.
The question that we must ask ourselves is not about last year and our hits and misses. The question must revolve around what we will do with the year that lies ahead of us.
The Bible is more than just a book of advice. It is God’s word and we need to understand that our lives must be lived according to the words found in the Bible.
You can choose to live without following God’s word. You certainly have that right. Let me ask you, how are you doing without God? How is your life shaping up? Are you anticipating the New Year and new opportunities?
I want to read a couple verses from the Bible. I think they will be very helpful for some of us to hear and read.
NIV: “Be very careful, then how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
The Message: “So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.”
1. Watch your step: Our earthly days are numbered.
A. First of all, we must be very careful how we live because our time on this earth is limited.
The Psalmist wrote, "Show me, O Lord, my life’s end & the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life" Psalm 39:4.
"We live for seventy years or so (with luck we might make it to eighty). Oh teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well." Psalm 90. (The Message)
Now, I realize that for some of us, 70 or 80 years sounds like a long, long time away. There are some who have passed that mark and can look back and on 70 and 80.