Commas, Periods, Beginnings, & Endings

God planned starts and stops for us. He showed us the value of a weekly end point in the Sabbath and then a fresh beginning point in the first day of a new week. Even though He is infinite and omnipotent, He created the seasons for us to be able to mark changes in our environment through nature. God does the same thing in our individual lives, determining individual seasons in our lives—education, changing jobs, moving, marriage, children, and on and on. I call these life’s commas and periods.

When we write to communicate—other than texting, of course—we use punctuation to show changes in our language. These little symbols are just as crucial as our words in how we comprehend messages. A comma produces just a slight pause for effect, while a period means a change of thought. As we walk through life, there are also commas and periods—places where God says to pause and consider, then others where He tells us to stop and change course.

One of the reasons we celebrate New Years as a Holiday is to mark the start of a new chapter of life. We say goodbye to a year and say hello to a brand new one. In reality, these are just normal days, but we give them cultural significance, because beginnings and endings are important to finite beings.

We yell, “Happy New Year” with family and friends, having a sense of anticipation and hope that good things will come as we flip to a new calendar. Reflecting over our lives, we may have years that just fade into history with little to recall, while others are etched into our memory, due to a life-changing event.

And now, here we are on the first steps of the journey into 2014, the threshold of a new year. What will change? What will stay the same? One of the vast mysteries of life is that we don’t know. We can plan and strategize, but there are no guarantees. However, both reflection and vision are critical to creating change in our lives.

Set aside some time today or tomorrow to realistically evaluate where you are and where you want to go. What needs to start? What needs to stop? Offer those hopes and dreams up to the Lord. Ask. Seek. Knock. This could be the year that everything changes for you. Faults that have plagued you for years finally defeated. A desire for decades ultimately realized. God does have a plan for your life. The real question is . . . do you? As they say, nothing changes if nothing changes. Get with God and get on His page. My prayer for you in 2014 is that you truly live the abundant life He has promised. Happy New Year, gentlemen!

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