There are just over 24 hours left in this decade and most are looking forward to a bright 2020. Looking back, I remember the year 1977. I was an awkward freshman in high school. My room was decorated in mostly whatever my Uncle Steve didn’t want in his home, which I was happy with. I had his rotary telephone, an old orange Pearl drum set, an 8-track tape / record player, and his ancient shag carpet. My mother decorated the room in a nautical theme, which was a fine when you’re a kid, but not much for a teenager. There was a fishing net on the ceiling with starfish and shells in it. I had a window fan, but no AC. During the several days of very hot summer weather we’d get in Northern NJ, I’d roast in my room. All in all, it was better than most. My popular clique of 9th grade friends decided “we” would all join the cross-country team. I wanted to fit in…I naively thought…How bad could it be? I could run fast in short distances. In fact I’d been timed the fastest in my grade. Why they didn’t choose football or soccer during that Fall, I’ll never know, but it was incredibly hard… Every day we ran MANY miles. It was a team sport, but running can be very lonely also. The course we ran included 2 obstacles known as “Heartbreak Hill” and “Agony Hill”. Heartbreak was a steady climb to the top of a small mountain and Agony was a short steep incline through a forest, where you needed to use your arms to pull yourself up through the trees. Over the season, I went from hyperventilating and thinking I was going to die, to a solid distance runner. I came in 6th in the state championships and had my best finish, 2nd, in the last race of the year. Anyway, In my English literature class, we were asked to write a story about what the year 2000 would look like. This was a time of fearing nuclear war threats, UFO invasions, civil unrest, serial killers, and JAWS. Frankly I thought it was a remote possibility that I’d see age 37. I had a lot of those fears…    

Jose Hasbun gave our message this morning. He reminded us that most failed in their goals and resolutions from 2019. Concerns about finances, employment, relationships, health, etc… can derail us unless we fix our eyes on Jesus first. Prov 3:5 shares that we can’t depend on our own understanding and in Jer 17 it says we are cursed if we rely on human strength. 2020 gives the hope of new goals, but without God, we are doomed to fail. We can get very distracted so easily. Let’s not get overly focused on things that draw us away from God. How do we do this?  1 Thes says pray continually and give thanks in ALL circumstances. Reading scripture and surrounding ourselves with spiritual friends can help us.   

Obviously I made it to 2000 and it astonishes me even more that I’m still here going into 2020. I’ll be going back on my KETO diet, I want to read scripture EVERY day, and be a better husband/father/friend. More importantly, I want to draw close to God because whether 2020, 2030, or 2040 is my last year here, I want to be called a good and faithful servant.    

Happy 2020 everyone !!!  May you draw closer to God and your best days still lie ahead of you !!!