In a 1968 episode of the original Star Trek, the crew of the starship Enterprise encounters an intergalactic species whose lives are far more fast-paced than those of their human counterparts. But there is a price. “At this level, they are easily damaged,” Captain Kirk observes, “as if accelerated living burns them out.” Star Trek’s creators apparently were making an observation about where the mounting pace of modern life was taking us—and they may have been even righter than they realized.
New Year’s Day is sort of like the first day of school. It’s as though God gives us each a spotless new notebook, sharp new pencils, new textbooks full of new lessons, and a fresh start. Whether or not that comes as a happy thought to you probably depends on how well you did in the last grade, last year. If you excelled, you’re probably ready to greet the new year with high hopes and bring-it-on enthusiasm. If you just barely squeaked by, you probably feel something between jitters and trepidation.
I see your struggles and hear your calls for help. When you feel all alone, I am there. I feel your heartaches, and wait for you to come to Me in prayer. Come into My sanctuary, into that secret place that you and I can share. There I am able to lift the worries, the cares, and the confusion. There I can restore your feeling of purpose and infuse you with strength to go on.
“The conclusion”—the speaker said in a booming voice—“is simple. Thank God for the small things in life. Don’t look for the millions, but be thankful for the cents.” Everybody applauded.
The seminar was over. With my notebook full of hastily scribbled notes and two new self-help books on how to enjoy life, I left the meeting hall somewhat bewildered.
Hearing the crunch of metal against metal as I backed out of my parking spot almost made my heart stop. I was in a hurry and had quickly scanned the parking lot before climbing behind the wheel, but somehow I had overlooked a pick-up that was parked in an unusual place.
I find that the days I start with God are the best. He’s like a good cup of coffee: I breathe deeply of its aroma, savor its taste, enjoy its warmth on a cold morning, and let its goodness stir me into action for the day. It makes getting up in the morning something to look forward to, and I carry the happy memory of it throughout the day.
Those first few minutes while the news sank in were devastating. I felt like my whole world was caving in. Somehow I managed to stumble shakily out of my boss’ office. His words kept reverberating in my head: “Due to the current situation, we’re having to cut back. So we wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind accepting a cutback on your work hours for now.”
I was doing some organization and deep cleaning of my belongings. This is the longest I have ever lived in the same house, and I’ve accumulated a lot of things. In the course of this, I came across a box filled with my old journals.
The Word of God is the most powerful truth on earth.—Words that contain the very spirit and life of God Himself.1 The Word is the spiritual spark of God that ignites us with His life, light, and power. Reading, absorbing, and following God’s Word is one of the most important things you can do to build your relationship with Him. It’s what keeps you in tune with God and helps you to keep going God’s way. When you listen to God and His Word and obey His truth, you’ll be happy and fruitful.2
I know all about you—your gifts, your talents, your strengths. I also know your weaknesses, your idiosyncrasies, and all the funny things about you that make you an individual. I know about the nagging problems that you can’t seem to overcome and all the things about yourself that bother you. I know your heart’s desires and secret longings. There is nothing hidden from Me.