The Rev. Dan Puckett: Making new beginnings

Published 5:38 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

“Now do it!” These were the words of Abner, a key lieutenant to King Saul, to the elders of Israel about making David their king after the death of King Saul (2 Samuel 3:18). Abner preceded that statement by telling them, “For some time you have wanted to make David your king” (2 Samuel 3:17).

We all have desires that we would like to see fulfilled. We are powerless over some of those desires because we cannot change circumstances, but there are other desires that we can act upon and see them come to fruition.

It is well stated in the serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” Most of us are well aware of the things we can and should change.

Abner was tapping into a situation that was primed for change. King Saul had been killed, the other contenders to the throne had been dealt with, and David stood ready to accept their request. The elders of Israel had the power and wisdom to make the change and they did.

It is almost the first of another new year, that traditional time of making some new beginnings. We have likely tried some new things in the past and failed, but failure should never deter our resolve to try again. It just might take trying again.

Shakespeare wrote, in Julius Caesar, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, lead on to fortune.”

Every surfer works their way out on the ocean waiting to catch the big wave. If they are timid or not paying attention, they will miss the wave every time. It takes vigilance and courage to stand up on the surfboard and take your chances on the wave.

The desire to change is universal to the human condition. People who do not claim to know Jesus Christ as savior and Lord can do well at changing some things in their lives for good, but the Christ-follower, the one who has put faith and trust in the finished work of Christ, has a huge advantage over the people operating in their own strength.

The Christ-follower has the indwelling Christ abiding in his or her life through the Holy Spirit giving direction and power for daily living. The Christ-follower also has a huge reservoir of God’s grace ready to be dispensed when asked for (Hebrews 4:14-16). God’s grace is the desire and power to live according to God’s desire and principles.

So here it is … the end of one year and the beginning of the next. We all know what we want to do and what we can do. “Now do it!”

The Rev. Dan Puckett is a minister with Life Action Ministries.