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Biblical Studies Journal Volume 2, Number 3
May 7, 1998
There Is No New Thing
The wise man put it well when he said, "The
thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done
is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."
As we view things, this is a new year, a clean page, along with brand new
opportunities. It may well be that we need these new beginnings, these
new days, new weeks, new months, new years; for we often cannot handle
an endless day, and perhaps the psychological effect of new beginning helps
us to lay aside the spoiled past. But let us ever remember that in reality
(and that's what Solomon
deals with) a new year is nothing but that which we have experienced before.
When midnight came and a new year was ushered in, there wasn't anything
magical about it. One hour led to the next hour, one minute ended as another
began and the world didn't stand still while we blew our trumpets and sounded
our greetings. The fact of the matter is that unresolved problems are still
there, unpaid bills are still unpaid, unforgiven sins are still unforgiven,
and unaccomplished tasks are still waiting for us. We need to come to the
realization that life, as God intended it, is not really lived in spurts,
nor is it defined in terms of getting something done before the year
ends. Rather, it is an ongoing, continuous way of life. When we speak
in terms of "sowing wild oats while I'm still young," or "making resolutions
for the new year," or "planning to repent before I die," we betray a failure
to realize that with God, "today
is the day that the Lord hath made." It is not a matter of repenting
some day, or making our changes when the new year comes, but
rather it is a matter of changing life now, regardless of the day, and
living as God wants us to life. Whenever I say "tomorrow," I betray
a real desire to hold on to the sinful ways of an old life. James
warns us against those tomorrows. Today is all that God has given us.
There are no guaranteed tomorrows.
-- Gene M. Carrell
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