People are so excited about seeing a new year. It is as if they will do something useful with it. Howbeit, they still have all the previous years to judge the basis of their excitement about seeing another new year.
Unfortunately, it remains the fear of death, rather than an opportunity to be a better us - better family members, better citizens and being better at fulfilling our God-given purpose, which is driving the many many new year messages and sporadic celebrations, which usually erupts across the world when midnight strokes to signal the dawn of a new year.
Indeed, the numbers that throng the otherwise relatively empty churches, tells it all: we are scared of death. Even if that will mean for once, believing in the power of prayer, the word of God, and the fellowship of the brethren to save us from death rather than our bank accounts, luxurious vehicles, plush mansions and the other things of this world.
But is there not much more to life than merely living to see another year?
What is the purpose of life and what is the meaning of life?
There should be a reason for your existence, shouldn't there?
And is there anything else in existence apart from man which is not sure why it was created?
The sky has its purpose and so does the land. The light comes at day for work and the night for sleep. The rivers to quench thirst and plants for food. Every single organ of the body has its role.
What then is your role on earth, apart from working to make money to feed, clothe and shelter the body to keep it alive to continue to celebrate many more new years? Remember, we eat to live (our purpose) and not live to eat.
But this was not so from the beginning when God was still leading man. Of the first man, Adam, God tasked with the responsibility to take care of creation, dominate it, and make it fruitful.
Unfortunately, when man traded the leadership of God over their lives for sin, the result is a sinful generation, that looks up to God (the Giver of life) to give them life just to continue in sin and not to live the purpose for which he created them.
Indeed, anybody who truly repented of his sins and submitted to God, He gave a unique purpose to fulfil on earth.
Of Abraham, God made the father of all nations. Of David, the king of the Israelites. Even the disciples of Jesus, who were all to preach the gospel, Peter preached to the Jews, whilst Paul preached to the gentiles. We saw the works of John the Baptist and it was unique from John the brother of James. We know the role of Joseph the son of Jacob and Joseph the earthly father of Christ. Our assignments are as distinct as the biometrics of each individual's fingerprint.
Like the team down by a goal after 90minutes of playing time, our joy of seeing a new year should be the joy of another opportunity to inch closer to fulfilling our purpose on earth, being minded that great punishment awaits those who do nothing with their gift of life.
The bible analogizes this with "A man travelling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise, he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time, the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming, I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'" (Mathew 25:14-30 NKJV)
A new year should simply be a rude reminder of where we have gotten to in fulfilling our purpose on earth; knowing that one of these days, we shall be no more.
It will be time to answer to God on what we did with our lives.
There, it will not be about your cars, houses, plush offices, size of bank account and things enjoyed in this world as it will be about how successful you worked the works of Him who sent you (here).
Akyena Brantuo Benjamin
Broadcast Journalist and Director, BLC.