The Gold on the Mantelpiece of Life
As the first month of 2018 draws to a close, let us take some time out of our busy schedule to do a little reflection together. This may be one, not the most but, may be one of the most important decisions you ever made. January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first month to have the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is celebrated as New Year’s Day, partying and much fanfare welcomes the day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (Europe etc.) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (Australia etc.). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa. Ancient Roman observances during this month.
Originally the Roman year had 10 named months Martius ‘March’, Aprilis ‘April’, Maius ‘May’, Junius ‘June’, Quintilis ‘July’, Sextilis ‘August’, September ‘September’, October ‘October’, November ‘November’, December ‘December’, and probably two unnamed months in the dead of winter when not much happened in agriculture. The year began with Martius ‘March’. Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome circa 700 BC, added the two months Januarius mensis ‘month of Janus’ or ‘January’ and Februarius mensis ‘month of Februa’ or ‘February’. Pompilius also moved the beginning of the year from Marius to Januarius and changed the number of days in several months to be odd, a lucky number. After Februarius there was occasionally an additional month of Intercalaris ‘inter-calendar’. This is the origin of the leap-year day being in February. However, in 46 BC, Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar (hence the Julian calendar) changing the number of days in many months and removing Intercalaris.
Many ethnic groups then add meanings and symbolism to months, listen to daily horoscope readings because their future lies with the movement and interpretations of the starts. This may sound familiar but it is worth repeating, that whatever the month you were born in, ‘that life is what we make it’. Your future does not depend on the month you were born in, or your star signs, it is about the purpose for which you were born. You were placed here by God’s design not a lunar eclipse. The most fun part of our life experience and purpose on earth is having a target to aim at.
Got you? What direction did you think this was taken? Arguments or discussions about the meaning of months, and how they affect your life? No, not even close my friends. So, then, It’s not so much about months, the beginning of months or even making January, or New Year’s resolutions. As for whether we know it consciously planned it, or unconsciously drift towards it, we all aim for something in life, to have a firm foundation. Parents want their children to do better than they, and sometimes they set the foundation for their kids. We planned for and work towards a good education, that will land us a good paying job, get married to build a house to have loads of money or even loosely, just maybe to achieve anything or something special. Because, we all need to aim our lives in a meaningful direction, our relationship with Christ should be at the forefront of our goals. Yes, some of us have these more certain tangible goals, like may be seeking God first, ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’ (Matt. 6. 33). What is the Gold on the Mantelpiece of our Lives? Putting Christ first is the first step to upgrading our spiritual status! Then winning at least one person to Jesus Christ, should be part of our life’s plan. Or for those who have the ministry call and spiritually gifted, a course for personal educational training and development. Which is professionally equipping oneself for excellence rather than below par and mediocre ministry performance.
Then again, maybe some of us have been thinking about starting a new Neighbourhood Bible study or even starting a new church. Possibly then 2018 could be the year when that we embark on that new initiative, possibly begin a new career, for some even retirement, some writing a book, singing a new song or just a commitment to living healthy. This should not be a goal for the year starting January 2018 only. I would not put it past some of our more ambitious folks to consider, even take steps to run for public office, no biblical objection and none from me. In fact, the more Christians entering in public office, it is the better and more emphatic our personal and response services would be. So what that everybody’s goals are different? It is healthy even a good and positive thing to have one or two golds. This is life achievement go0al, given pride of place on the mantelpiece. Often we see people embarked on a course of action because they want a constructive self-disciplined program to pursue.
Again for emphasis, we all need a purpose for being, something to live for, something to get out of bed, aim and shoot our life arrows at, that something that will make life a bit more interesting. Having a purpose increases our zest, our enthusiasm and passion for life and it can be infectious. We welcome the break of each day and greet each moment with joy and anticipation. Alternatively, if we just drift, having nothing to aim at, to hope for, and to work toward leaves us, the body of Christ internationally a bit flaccid, our energy sapped by life’s circumstances and we remain sometimes hopeless and depressed.