Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my...
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4 KVJ
A new year is upon us and we can only imagine what the daily headlines will bring to our troubled nation and weary souls. Breathlessly we wait for the next bombshell to explode before our bloodshot eyes. Who or what will attack us next? A new strain of virus? An activist group, willing to tear our cities apart for the sake of a two-minute spot on … Wait! Stop the presses and hold the newsboys from running to the street corners with their stacks of newspapers. Whatever you do, do not, and I repeat, do not view that next tweet, email or Facebook post before considering what I say. When did we become prisoners to the news media and mobs in the street? It is high time we stepped back and take a breath. I have better news than you will ever read or hear on any news outlet or social media platform. Our world, which is spinning out of control, does not have to spin us into a frenzy. The fearmongers, who pound at our door, do not have to be invited in to ruin our day. In fact, send the dog out to bite them. You decide your own personal headline for each day you have on this earth. You alone determine the direction of your life. We have stopped living and we must start again this year or be swallowed up in the quicksand of the insanity this world tries to shove down our throats.
Lined across the back of my bedroom are five narrow windows that look out into my backyard. Each morning, at the first hint of sunrise, I open the blinds and look out into the state forest that borders our property. This morning ritual, for me, signals the start of a new day. The closing of those same blinds at dust is a signal that the day is done. I consider these two ceremonial acts as vital to my emotional and spiritual health for two reasons.
First, the opening of the blinds is an acknowledgement of the beginning a new range of possibilities and adventures. Secondly, the closing of the blinds at night is a realization that whatever happened that day is done and cannot be altered. I open my own blinds, not by the permission of others, but by my own volitional will. I choose to make good use of every single moment that God gives me, and I refuse to allow fear to slow me down. Look back over 2020. What did you fail to do because you were afraid? Where did you not go because you were “locked down.” We had better start living life again or we will lose our ability to grow and develop into what God intended us to become. We will lose our freedoms. I stand before my blinds every morning. If I am so concerned about what wild animal runs out of the woods to attack me, I will close the blinds and crawl back under the covers. I choose to open my blinds to a new day; to a new year. My life is my responsibility and this year I will choose to trust God and live life.