Don’t Let the New Year Spit in Your Eye! – By Desmond Ford

Dec 3, 2015 2513

AlpacaI had often wondered what that strange creature was. It looked somewhat like an ostrich but it wasn’t an ostrich. It looked like a shrunken giraffe, but it wasn’t a giraffe. Often when I jogged by the field, I was tempted to go to the fence and look more closely at the weird animal. Perhaps it was as well for me that I didn’t.

David Spruance, son of missionary parents in Argentina, recognized the creature at once. “It’s a llama,” he said. “It comes from Peru. If it spits in your eye it can seriously infect you and lead to much trouble.” I decided that when jogging, I would not yield to the temptation of going to that fence and looking that weird creature in the eye.

But there are things that one does have to face up to. There are some things that we can’t avoid looking in the eye. Take life itself. Here we are facing a new year. Will it be a happy new year?

Someone has said, “I have but one candle, and when that is burned, I am through.” We have one brief life and the man who does not stop and deliberate how best to spend it is the worst of fools. For the fool, life will inevitably be like the Peruvian llama – it will spit in his eye and infect him with moral jaundice.

Even men of the world have seen the truth of this. There has been much talk in recent years about the 80-20 principle. That means in essence that eighty precent of what we do only gives twenty precent satisfaction, whereas twenty precent of what we do gives us eighty precent satisfaction and therefore the great need to prioritize and decide what should be done first.

Of course these principles about time and success are really drawing from that very old treasure store – the Bible. Scripture is full of the 80-20 principle. It is forever stressing the necessity of prioritizing and of seeing things in a true sense of proportion.

A favourite word on the lips of Jesus was “first.” He could say, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness….” Or “First bind the strong man….” Or ‘‘the first and great commandment….”

Jesus had an eye for people who observed this priority principle. When everybody else was criticizing that poor woman who out of love’s store had anointed him, he said, ”Mary has chosen that good thing which shall not be taken from her.” How did she come to do that? Jesus said on the same occasion, “But one thing is needful.”

Mary had a true sense of priorities, she saw things in proportion, and it became automatic for her to apply the 80-20 principle. She made Jesus first. Worship and adoration was the essence of life to her.

Are the rest of us as wise? Or are we busily spending our energies, our thoughts, our loves and our talents on the eighty precent of things in life which will only yield a dividend of twenty precent? Perhaps ultimately they will yield no good dividends whatever. So here is the oldest of all platitudes and the truest and the most essential.

Let God be God. Either God matters tremendously or he doesn’t matter at all. If God be God he must be put first, ever and always. He must be at the head of that happy new year and of each day and he must be first in every choice. The worship of God must be seen as our first duty and the source of all our fruitfulness and joy.

Will it be a Happy New Year? Or shall the year be like that which can spit in your eye and infect you? All depends upon whether we will put God first. Let us together determine to do just that at the beginning of 2016.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from, “The Only Way To A Happy New Year.”

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