I was in a darkened room as the year changed from old to new. I had no way of telling the time. No way of seeing a clock, the moon, or the streetlights. It was the muffled sound of fireworks crackling and banging outside that gave it away. The New Year tradition of evermore ear-splitting and eye-ball frying pyrotechnics. A fresh start! A new year of promise!
Out with the old – in with the new.
Years ago it was not this way. Years ago I had the parties planned, the where and when, the who and what. Alcohol played a large part. I even planned for that. A dessert with a supersize slug of condensed milk. Lines the stomach. Kept me standing when all around were retching over a toilet-bowl or just flat-out unconscious! Last man standing!
Little Oliver, sleeping fitfully in my arms, knows nothing of either my youthful exuberance or my now more sedentary choice. Just as I knew little of the impending crossing of one year to another.
And the morning after when all were sleeping (or at least tucked up nice and warm) our dog and I strolled quiet and calm streets. Only the occasional cold pavement-pizza to tell of the previous night’s excesses.
The New Year and “a fresh start” seems to take a long time to get going for most!
I used to read the bible with the same youthful excess. Along with most biblical fresh starts taking a long time to get going. Like eternity. That doesn’t get going until I die. And forgiveness – instant for me but a lot longer from me. The Be Attitudes – taught like New Year Resolutions – but just as temporary … burn, flame and crash! But that is not a problem. Christians say this will happen – we are all sinners – saved or unsaved (which makes me question “the saved’s” rationale).
Now I find love is enough.
I found love before I found the bible. And then found the bible is full of love. Then found love doesn’t figure that highly in church life. Just like the bible is full words – so too is church. Word really do come easy.
Standing in a darkened room with a fitfully sleeping child. Unaware and unconcerned of the time or the day or the year. It was fun to hear the fireworks. Interesting to think one year had ended and another begun. But isn’t that all just time-travel-control? To measure and mark the passing of time. Love doesn’t really “get” all of that other than of moments of surprise and pleasure.
A second is a year, a year a second. Stuff can blur just as stuff can be so more than scientifically “crystal clear”. Logic makes perfect unsense AND perfect sense – neither matters without delight and joy.
But right is right and wrong is wrong.
Inhumanity is always inhumanity just as kindness is always kindness. That kind of love I find in the bible. Along with the on-message messages – the “religion” – the ologies – the qualified in God – the qualified teachers of God.
The teachers who teach that Be Attitudes are beyond the reach of mere “man” (or “woman”). Teaching that sin is sin (and payback is payback) so pick the wrong side and be screwed for eternity – but taught with “love” (obviously). Pick the right side and be engulfed in unconditional love (which is beyond the reach of us living and breathing and sinning humans) – we are ALL sinners forgiven by grace freely given (if we pick the right side).
Which came first … love or the bible?
I find love is enough. Love came before the bible. It works universally. Whether you have been saved or not. Irrespective of religion or faith. Or qualification.
Inhumanity and unkindness are more important to me than sin.
Just as humanity and kindness are more important to me than being saved. Just as this moment is more precious than all the rotating calendars and marking of time-travel.
I am not making a fresh start in 2019. Love in this moment and the next is enough. Moments that seem to be of eternity. Perhaps is eternity.
Love is always fresh.
Love comes first.