Well, let’s forget all the New Year’s hullabaloo! Forget the huge crowds, the countdown from 10, the cheering, the popping corks, the exploding fireworks. Forget the New Year’s resolutions. My addiction is chocolate in any shape or form! It is often my New Year’s resolution which, after all the chocolate I have been given for Christmas, lasts one day… Rather let us consider the coming year as a year of opportunity. What would we really like to do with our lives? The possibilities are endless. Think of those who started life with impoverished parents, or with a single mum, or as a baby rescued from a trash can, yet rose to wealth, fame, or achievement. It’s a question we should all take time to carefully consider. Don’t waste your youth on trivialities. At 40, it is often too late, and you are left looking jealously at your friends who have worked hard and achieved their goal.
Opportunities can, however, be lost. The classic example is found in the New Testament as told by the Apostle Matthew in his Gospel. (Mt 19:16-22). And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him. Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Jesus knows what is in our hearts and he put his finger on the young man’s fundamental feeling for his wealth. Jesus challenged him to give it all away. He said on another occasion, “No one can serve two masters….You cannot serve both God and money.” (Mt 6:24 NIV). This was too much for the young man. He went away sorrowful and lost the great opportunity of becoming a follower of Jesus Christ: Who knows - he may have become an apostle?
May you make the most of your God given opportunities in 2023
God bless you