Every January I am struck by two thoughts. You are probably thinking, “Norm, are you having only two?” No. I have a multitude of peculiar thoughts, but there are two particular ones that strike me at the beginning of each year.
The first is, it is amazing how much can happen in one 365 day year. And the second is, I must quickly plan how I will make use of this new year, or I will awake one day and find another has past.
This Yiddish folk saying may help as the new year begins. “Those who DO NOT depend on luck have less bad luck.” Depending on luck is failure to plan. Not depending on luck is taking charge, making and working your plan.
The book of Proverbs calls him a “sluggard” who is depending on luck. “Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? (Proverbs 6:6-9).
All the things I failed to get done last year, probably won’t get done this year unless I plan to do them. That doesn’t sound very spiritual does it? I should be able to trust God to take care of everything for me. I’ll pray and that is all I must do.
The book of James addresses that. “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (James 2:14-17).
James doesn’t let us ignore the little ant. We must wake up and smell the elbow grease. Dear Lord make us wise to not waste the day. Bless the work of our hands and our plans for our new year.
Chaplain Norman Drummond