The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years; and he had other sons and daughters. –Genesis 5:4
Somewhere between 2019 and 2020, I’m sure somebody shot off some fireworks. Someone stupidly fired a gun in the air. The whole world celebrated.
I didn’t hear any of it.
I slept. Not out of boredom or depression or anything like that. I was just sleepy. And not that interest in watching another ball drop.
And…I already had a good idea what I’d wake up to in 2020. Sure enough, on the other side of a decent night’s sleep, I found the exact same guy staring at me from the mirror.
There I am. Overweight. Wart on my foot. My beard is crooked. Thus begins another year with myself. Been there, done that. Too much anxiety. Too much a perfectionist and too dismissive of details.
I’ve been around this track 50 times now. I’ve learned that crossing the Dec.31st finishing line doesn’t really change me. I may create a few resolutions this year (2 days a week at the gym?), but I know darn well I rarely keep them.
My question is: How in the world did Adam do it? 800 new years, and that’s only the years AFTER his Son Seth gets born. Basically, Adam had upwards of a MILLENNIUM to live with his flaws, his idiosyncrasies, his crooked nose, and a curious predilection for low hanging fruit.
Oh, and a messed up world.
Would you even celebrate New Years if you lived to 800? Or would the years all run together into one prolonged eye roll? I’ve been awfully eye-rolly lately…
And so, at first I greeted New Years with a yawn, and not because I slept through it. I felt a little bit…done with it. Yeah, yeah, new year, new decade. I’ve been here before.
But I clearly haven’t. No one has. I think sleep makes me forget, and a little time with God helps me remember: We are on the threshold of something new. Something unprecedented. This is untraveled territory, this day — every day.
The notice of this week as “New Year” is totally arbitrary. Just a date on a calendar someone picked, long ago, and we stuck with it.
But we’re not STUCK with anything! I don’t care how old you are, 8 or 8o, or 800, each new day is for you to explore. It’s unlike any day that has come before. On New Year’s Eve, while I was sleeping, the exciting thing that happened was that God was claiming me for another day.
God claims me for all the days, for all the ways I change and grow, and all the ways I stay the same. For all my bad jokes and all my brilliant ideas. For the resolutions I make, and the ones I’ll probably break. God is in it with me for the whole 800+ yards.
I may have slept through the ball drop, but I didn’t miss the important things. The God of 2019 is the God of 2020, is the God of all time. And God, through Christ, has invited you and I on the journey of our lives…however long they last, and beyond.
I don’t know why we don’t live as long as Adam did. Maybe lifespans were measured differently. Maybe God was still fine tuning creation. Maybe it’s just a dramatic depiction. Since we never hear from Adam again, it’s possible he lived the rest of his life in boredom or frustration. It’s also possible he opened himself to receive a marvelous life of challenge and growth and joy.
That’s the one I choose to believe. That’s the new year God wants for me.
I’m going to live 2020 with a little more optimism than last year. A little more faith. After all, if God can do all this while I was sleeping…
I can’t wait to see what happens when I’m wide awake.
Have a great year,