Let me warmly wish all my beloved friends, brothers and sisters a happy and a prosperous New Year. We thank God we made it to 2017, alive, hale and hearty. We also thank God for his protection and the sustenance of life. This piece, however, is not a continuation of the long list of felicitations and kind wishes you got from friends and loved ones, because I guess you have received enough already. People had sent you New Year messages using various communication media: Many called; some sent SMS; others reached you through WhatApp messages, facebook, twitters, Instagram etc inundating you with compliments for the New Year. But rather, this piece wishes to ask some very pertinent questions as regard the true essence of New Year festivity : did you think God also wish you a happy new year celebration, just like your friends and family members? Are you sure God is personally happy with the way you have spent your life so far on earth, to warrant him congratulating you? These questions call for personal sober reflections
On the 31st of December every year, many of us would besiege various religious centres , to usher in the New Year in the ‘presence’ of the lord. By 9pm on that day, many people would leave their houses to congregate at the churches and mosques, counting down to the new year with much anticipation and excitement. There would be a lot of singing, dancing and exhortations from the clergy men. One funny observation about this day is that, many people who had not visited any religious centre throughout the year, would find their way to anyone closer to them. In churches for instance, once it is 11;30 pm, you would begin to notice the influx of ‘strange’ faces, many reeking with the smell of alcohol and cigarette, obviously migrating from beer parlors and night clubs where they had gone to ‘enjoy’ life. It is usually a day many churches ‘win’ bountiful souls for the kingdom.
Then, by 11:59 pm, the clergy man would announce the arrival of the New Year, “ Ladies and gentlemen, join me as we count down to the new year together: ten……nine…..eight………three……two……oneeeeee. Happy New Yearrrrrr! Please help me to congratulate your neighbor, tell them happy New Year”. Celebrations would rent the air as people would be shouting; “thank God I made it” “thank God we are alive, hallelujah, praise the Lord” This is usually followed with series of thanksgiving to God who had seen us through the preceding year. Then the clergy man would mount the rostrum to make ‘powerful’ declarations of our expectations for the New Year, and many of us would respond with a resounding shout of “amennnnn” “This is your year of supernatural abundance” “ amennn” “your year of restoration, prosperity and breakthrough” “amennn” “your year of this, your year of that………..” Dishing out a long list of platitudes that are pleasant to the hearing of the congregation, the clergy would conclude the celebration, with some people dispersing to their various homes, while others would retire back to the beer parlors, hotels and night clubs to continue the ‘enjoyment’ of the night.
As we embark on yet another New Year celebration rituals, may I kindly ask you once again, my beloved brothers and sisters: do you really think in all sincerity that God, who gave you the life that you are celebrating, is happy with the way you are spending it? Okay, thank God you are alive, and so what? What is the use of your life to God anyway? Don’t you know that God has a purpose for your life and that is essentially the reason why He created you? But have you ever bothered to find out what that purpose is and make an effort to fulfill it? God created you to add value to the life of others. Are you doing just that? God, as a 'manufacturer' of life created us to function in a particular way that will give him joy and satisfaction. Our lives need to function according to God’s specification!. Of course, no manufacturer would be happy to create a product that would malfunction. Any product that malfunctions, will not give satisfaction and yield profit to the producer!
I think that beyond the euphoria of the New Year merriment, there is an urgent need for us to rethink the essence of this precious gift called life. Many of us carry on with a false ‘sense of ownership’ to life. And that is why we can afford to live the way we live. In case you do not know. Your life is not your own! It was given to you by God, strictly to use it to fulfill his purpose. It has a time span, and at the end of the duration, you will be requested to give an account of your stewardship on earth. This has nothing to do with your religious affiliation. What God would require of you is your service to humanity
The purpose of your life is that you were created to live for others; your life gives life to others! The essence of your life is to add value to God’s creation by what you do for others. Everything God created must give back to life, in order to ensure the sustenance of His creation. Nothing in life lives for itself: The sea does not drink its water; the plants do not eat their fruits; the sun does not give heat to itself neither do flowers spread fragrances to themselves. Living for others is the rule of nature! Sadly, the only creatures that live for themselves are human beings. This is a grave aberration that has disrupted the stability of God’s creation. And this vividly explains the root cause of the entire crisis bedeviling humanity.
While we celebrate this New Year, the question we should be asking ourselves, which I think of course should form the basis of our resolution for the year is: “how do we begin to live righteously?” (Please note that righteousness is not a religious jargon that connotes a sinless state, it actually depicts a life that is strictly in alignment to God’s purpose!)- A life that would be pleasing to our creator, which would motivate him to wish us ‘a happy New Year’ and be proud of the life that he gave to us. This is important because many of us are busy thanking God for keeping us alive, but God is saying “what is the use of your life, when you are busy wasting my resources selfishly on yourself and the vanities that you pursue”
Many of us would also need to make restitutions for the abuse of the life God has given to us. It is important we retrace our steps back to the path of True Living; we must set our priorities right! It is time for us to reconsider living for others as the cardinal focus of our lives. The greatest abuse of your life is, for you to live for yourself and your family alone. Resolve today, to be the hand of God to lift many out of poverty. Spread the fragrance of happiness where ever you go. Let your life give hope to the hopeless. Become a father to the fatherless and a mother to the motherless! Become a voice to the voiceless. Always uphold the cause of good, fairness and justice. Liberate yourself from the shackles of material possessions. Choose rather to measure your riches in the amount of smiles you put on the faces of the poor. Remember, you have only a limited time to live your life, please spend it wisely.
The clock of your life is ticking! Every second you live moves you closer to the grave- mortality. If you like don’t listen to my wise counsel ,obviously because of the deception of the materials riches around you! Be wise; don’t destroy your soul pursuing vanities
A word is enough for the wise!
Azemobor Gregory, an Apostle of humanity, is the International Coordinator Voice of Change Network- (an organization promoting Godliness through selfless service to humanity)
Follow me on twitters: @gazemobor
Please share this message to at least 10 people you know. I am sure it will bless their lives!