Monday, 31 December 2012

Drayton Parslow's Non-New Year Message

Now is the time of year when traditionally some people come up with a New Year message. A sign of absolutely no humility, in my opinion. When most sensible people want to sit quietly, with a cup of weak tea, wondering precisely when the world is going to end, the last thing they want is a self-appointed New Year expert, either from the fields of religion, politics, science or Richard Dawkins, telling them what they should do with the New Year.

The fact is, the New Year is a calendrical nicety. If we had numbered the days sequentially, from the day of Our Lord's birth onwards, then there would be no concept of any cycles of nature. Things would become warmer, and then colder again, every 365 days or so - but we would recognise this simply as the way things are, not signifying anything of any great significance. We would have trouble recognising when Christmas and Easter were, but then here at the Bogwulf Fundamentalist Baptists we worry little about times and seasons - knowing that New Moon Festivals, in particular, dear as they are to the hearts of the Beaker Folk across the paddock, are not close to the Lord's heart.

And so this is not a New Year message. It is simply some sound advice. The first day of a year (or last of the previous one) is not especially auspicious - as one of Eileen's prophets once wrote, "the days they turn into years, and still no tomorrow appears". I have no idea what this means, but it may be relevant. But we should be ready to preach the Gospel "in season and out of season." the Gospel season starts on 1 January next year, and closes on 31 December, and we should not forget this. So these are the things I would advise any time of the year.

Firstly, stop it. You know what I'm talking about - and yes, it is thee that I address. Stop it. And that. That's not much better. In fact, it may even be worse. Try not to think about it. When I'm trying not to think about things, I find it best to sing Psalms. Maybe number 90 - which, after all, recommends we number our days, instead of rounding them up into years.

Secondly, do something more productive. If you stop doing that thing you knew you ought to stop, you will have more time to do something else. Sitting quietly is good, provided it is in a godly frame of mind, but if you find yourself thinking about the thing or things you should have stopped, then you should stop sitting quietly as well, and do something more profitable. Did I mention singing Psalms?

So there is my advice - as sound today, tomorrow and in the middle of next summer. Stop doing things you should stop - especially that. And do some things you should be doing. It is simple advice, but I hope it will serve you well. And a Happy Tomorrow to you.

1 comment :

  1. I've just had a significant birthday, so actually numbering my days is a very scary thought. In any case my old brain can't cope with the maths.


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