Zion United Church of Christ
A Journey for the New Year
|Posted on January 11, 2023 at 10:55 AM|
A Journey for the New Year
This New Years Joyce and I did something that we haven’t done in many years. We actually saw the clock turn from 2022 to 2023! Normally we are fast asleep when the years change. But with some of the activity that goes on it the world we may have the safer way of celebrating. Sleeping!! People start out the New Year doing things that they shouldn’t do, making promises that they don’t keep, and wonder why their life never changes year after year. What are your goals for the New Year? Are you looking to change your life or just change what is acceptable in your life? The bright sun, the warm days of summer are gone, for now. Winter is an ideal time to slow down. To invest a few extra hours in quiet reverence. To remind ourselves that our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). Take time to listen in this winter season of your life.
God is speaking to all of us but sometimes we don’t listen. We are too busy wanting from Him that we don’t listen to what He is saying to us. For our lives to prosper it is best to let God tell us how to live and not tell Him how we are going to live. We need to Listen…….
As usual if you know me this reminds me of a story… There was a lake at the outskirts of a small village. Two swans and a turtle who were good friends lived in the lake. They would play with each other and pass time telling stories. One year, there were no rains and the lake started drying up. “The lake is almost dry. We have to find some other place to live,” said the turtle to the swans. “We will fly around and look for a suitable place,” said the swans. Both the swans flew in different directions in search of a better place to live. A little distance away, one of the swans spotted a large lake. It had plenty of water and there were many fishes in it. He flew back to tell the others.
“There was only one problem,” replied one swan. “The two of us can fly there in no time. But you crawl very slowly. And it is some distance away. You will never reach there.” The turtle thought for some time. Suddenly His face lit up. “I have an idea he said.” You bring me a stick. I will hold the center of the stick in my mouth. Both of you can hold the stick on either side. That way you can fly me with you to our new home. “ “It is a very good idea, but you have to make sure you do not open your mouth for any reason. It you do you, you will fall to your death, “warned one of the swans. The turtle agreed. “Remember what we told you,” reminded the swans as they got ready to fly. Soon they were flying high in the sky. They had to fly over the village to get to the lake. As they flew over the village, people ran out into the street to look at this amazing sight.
“What clever birds. They are carrying a turtle on a stick!” exclaimed one man. Everyone was excited to see such an amazing sight.
“It was my idea. I am the clever one. I need to let them know,” thought the turtle. He opened his mouth to explain, but before the foolish turtle could say anything, he fell with a thud and died. The swans looked down at their dead friend and shook their heads bitterly at his foolishness. “If he had kept his mouth shut, he would be alive and happy with us,” said one swan to the other as they landed at the big lake which would be their home from then on.
Publius, the Greek sage, put his finger on another technique we tend to forget when he admitted: I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
In the New Year let’s think about all that God gives us including choice of how we glorify Him and live our lives with the gift of listening.
King David put it bluntly in Psalm 39: I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle (v.1).
Or with a stick between two Swans…
Blessings for the New Year,