January, the first month in a new year; it is a time of renewing and starting anew. This year is particularly interesting given the date structure; two thousand twenty or in other words 2020. Often times when we here this stated as “2020”, it often brings to mind the classification of vision relating to that of perfection.
For this blog, I’ve decided to use the image of a wooded area covered in a blanket of fresh snowfall. I chose this based on January being a winter month in North America and one that typically brings A LOT of snow. And as you can see in the map below, which was used to address the matter of US snowfall by month (Brettschneider; Data: NOAA/NCEI), the dark blue areas indicate that January historically brings the heaviest amount, which on average is greater than 3 inches. That is unless of course, you live in places such as, California, and the southern belt that includes most of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and half of North Carolina.
In looking at the blog image of a fresh snowfall, we see a pure, clean, fresh, white, environment. Taking it a step further, if we were physically there breathing in the air, we would likely find it to be crisp and depending on how cold, it could actually be brittle. You would also feel the coldness on your face and ears and even see it with every exhale of your breath. Those of you who live in the northern states, know all too well what I’m talking about.
With the seasons, we all see and understand that fall is the one where things in the plant realm start to die off. Deciduous or broadleaf trees lose their leaves and the cone and nut-bearing ones (i.e. pines, oak, hickory, pecan, hazelnut, etc.) have also dropped their seeds, which are the nuts (or cones) and they if not gathered up by the squirrels and chipmunks, will die off and from those start a new cycle of life. We all know what it means to renew something; to make like new: restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection (Merriam-Webster). But as for the term anew, this may not be so familiar. It is defined as, for an additional time; over again; or in a different form (Merriam-Webster). The Scriptures say that to everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3). This one, in particular, was written by King Solomon, who was identified in Scripture as being one who’s, “wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt” (I Kings 4:30). Here’s what King Solomon had to say, according to what is written in the New King James translation.
Everything Has Its Time
1 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 a time [bear] to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Now let’s take some time to dissect and analyze this passage… We are born and yet in the end we die. There is a time to plant (sew), yet there is a time to pluck (harvest) the fruit of what was planted (sewn). From the losses we experience, we have the ability to allow it to keep us bound and helpless (i.e., keep, hate, cry, war, and mourn) or we can choose to use it as a motivation to overcome (i.e., throw away, love, laugh, sow and experience peace, and dance).
Jesus said, for one to gain their life they must first lose it (Matthew 10:39 and 16:25), and that my friends is the whole purpose behind this blog. It is for the purpose of getting you to see the importance of letting go of those things that are of no value to you; those things that you know deep down are only bring harm to yourself. We need to learn to let go and cast away those things such as, bad relationships, substance abuse or other addictive behaviors, using sex as a means of controlling others or for conquer, hate, racism, etc. Bottom line, we often hold on to these things because you’re hurting deep down inside and there’s a hole we’re trying to fill, yet the things of this world will NEVER fill us. To find and secure peace, you must seek out the only one that can bring it; Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NKJV).
So, now as I always do, I want to apply the GROUNDED acronym (Kidd, 2017) to this matter. For in this acronym is wisdom; not mine but God’s and He gave it to me to share with ANY and EVERYONE who is willing to listen. Why? Because as Jesus said, I [Jesus] have come that YOU may have and experience life, to the full (nothing missing and nothing broken) (John 10:10). Also, that, “wisdom is the principal thing; better than gold, rubies, and even weapons of war (Proverbs 4:7-9; 8:11; and 16:16; and Ecclesiastes 9:18).
First, we must recognize God, and that He IS. He is what? He is the one who not only created you, but did so with a very specific purpose in mind. He’s also the one who provided His Son, Jesus as not only our gift of salvation but as a human example of Him; for us to see and understand that we as His creation is only limited to and by what we choose to believe.
Next is the matter of Respect. First, it is a matter of respect for Him as He gave us life. Respect for Jesus, for He gave us life more abundantly. For ourselves, for we are the Creator’s greatest of all creations. Why? Because we were created in His image, with a purpose and that purpose is to be a blessing to others who don’t know Him; to walk out His peace and love.
Next is Observant – be cognizant (aware) of your surroundings for your safety as well as that of others. Be alert to the things that are going on around you in the physical, which in reality is much more than many often give thought to.
Next is Understanding. Understand who your life and choices not only affect and or affect you, but others, both close to us and those we’ve possibly haven’t and may never meet.
Next is New Experiences. If you don’t like where you’re at – CHANGE IT. Don’t lower your standards to live down to someone else’s expectations. No rather use that as motivation to propel you to a new destiny. Don’t practice insanity; doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expect a different result.
Next is Diligence; giving strict attention to and pursuing after the important. Look at what will make a radical positive change in your life, not just for today or tomorrow, but rather one that is long-lasting.
Next is Education. Education is all around you and it is continually making itself available to us. Especially in the information age in which we live. Just be smart enough to apply the previously mentioned O, U, and N so that you’re not taken advantage of.
And finally, we have Daily Effort. Though similar to diligence it is different in that diligence is more precise and focused. Whereas, daily effort is more general and all-encompassing.
In closing this blog, to renew – anew, one must set their mind on what is important. As the Scriptures advise us, we are to renew our minds and see our abilities in Christ, and the world from God’s perspective (Romans 12:1-2). The weak, feeble, and apathetically minded will say that nothing is important, or that everything things is important and give up due to being overwhelmed. God says, I have not given you a weak spirit (II Timothy 1:7) and you can do all things in and through My Son, Jesus (Philippians 4:13). You must only have and apply the faith to see it. Renew your perspective and become anew.
References and Resources:
Anew. In The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved December 24, 2019, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anew
Renew. In The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved December 24, 2019, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/renew
Brettschneider, B. (n.d.). Map, NOAA/NCEI. Snowiest Month of the Winter: 1981-2010 Climatology. The Weather Channel. Retrieved from https://weather.com/storms/winter/news/march-april-snowiest-month Retrieved on 13 December 2019.
Kidd, R. (2017). The Young Person’s Survival Manual: How to Survive in Today’s Ever-Changing World. ISBN: 9781629528953. Xulon Press. Maitland, FL.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (1985). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.