“I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.” (Psalm 77:5)
A saeculum is a good old-fashioned Latin word. A loose definition would be the end of an era. Specifically defined, it means the end of a ruler’s (i.e. Caesar’s) reign.
I’m referring to it here to a change in the spiritual and cultural atmosphere.
Anytime the years change over, I always feel that it marks a special (positive) shift in my relationship with God. Then again, I wonder how much I can just sit back and let it happen or if it’s something for which God will need my complete attention, involvement and support. Much like any other day of the year, of my life.
Are you familiar with the “Gordian Knot”? An ancient knot tied by Gordius, King of Phrygia (a country in Asia Minor) Historically, it was a knot that was so intricate that no one could untie it. Really, it was prophesied that the person who was to rule Asia was the one who would untie it. Whoever came upon it–much like young Arthur pulling the sword from the stone–and untied the Gordian Knot was destined to rule the continent. So what does the eminently pragmatic Alexander the Great do? He simply cuts right through it. “Despise not prophesyings.” (1 Thessalonians 5:20) Then again, Gordius most likely didn’t know God, i.e. Jehovah.
Now, what does this kind of hubris and brio and boldness mean for us? Well, without the right heart attitude, without humility, God doesn’t like it when we take our destiny into our own hands.
Jesus says in Luke (21:19) to “possess ye your souls with patience.” (emphasis mine) I respect Alexander’s decision to change the course of history and make it work for him. And I believe at its core, such confidence and assertiveness is good. In other words, God can use it. Proverbs (14:26) says that “in the fear of the Lord is strong confidence and His children shall have a place of refuge”. But in taking hold of our future, God would have us rest in Him. Sure, be willing to step out. Like, tomorrow: we’ll all step out into a new year. But also be willing to let God choose for you. Even if you feel that a saeculum is ending and a new one is beginning. Without God to guide us into our destiny, we might find ourselves in deep water, over our heads and inundated.
The Holy Spirit is the one who “show[s us] things to come.” (John 16:13) How then, if we sense a change in the winds can we do anything, anything aside from humbling ourselves and listening for God to direct us into those beautiful new vistas of blessing, purpose and contentment.
“Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; and Thy paths drop fatness (abundance)” Psalm 65:11
Happy New Year! Let’s see what good things God has planned!