Originally Posted 28 December 2009 at http://www.plimtuna.com
The last couple of days I spent with my family in the tropical locale of Rio Dulce, Guatemala. We spent a few days with 24 family members in a beautiful house located on a river. We had a wonderful time. Unfortunately all nice vacations come to an end and yesterday we had to make the trip back to the home town of Salamá. The trip is about 250 Kilometers or 153 miles. Our travel time was, with various stops for heart of palm, pineapples, bananas, and ice cream, took over 5 hours. As I was a copilot in one of the five cars in the caravan I spent a lot of time looking for the kilometer stones (milestones for my American friends) along the way to track our progress. In Guatemala all the major roads have kilometer markers that track your distance from the capital. Sure, in America we have mile markers on our interstates, but in Guatemala they really are stones. There seems to be something more permanent and lasting about using stones and not some steel reflector sign like they have elsewhere. I started to think about milestones and how they mark the time of our lives.
From when a baby takes its first steps, to first words, to kindergarten, to college, to marriage, to first child, to our 30th, 40th and 50th birthdays, we mark our lives with milestones. Some milestones we look at with joy and nostalgia, while others bring pause, reflection and regret. Often we look at the turning of the annual calendar as a time to mark our lives. We ask ourselves how successful we were in accomplishing our goals over the last year, or over the last ten years. Can we look at the coming mile stone of 2010 with joy and happiness for a year/decade well played out or will we look at it with regret for missed opportunities and lost chances?
In I Samuel 7 we read a story of when Samuel led the Israelites in battle against the Philistines. The people of Israel had turned away from God, but Samuel let them in a return to the Lord through a cleansing of false idols and false gods. They went to Mizpah to make sacrifices to the Lord. The Philistines attacked them there, God confused the Philistines and the Israelites were able to pursue and subdue the Philistines. At the point that the victory was theirs, Samuel erected a stone and named it Ebenezer, saying “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” Was this the first milestone? Probably not, but it is a reminder to us that we have opportunities in life to ask what are the names of the milestones we are leaving behind. Are they called Ebenezer – “Thus far the Lord has helped us?” Or do they symbolize something worse, “Thus far I have ignored the help of the Lord.”?
Why not look at the turning of the year as a means to begin to build a positive milestone? Why not take the opportunity to join us on our adventure to read through the Bible this year? Won’t you look forward to setting a positive milestone on December 31st, 2010 when you read the last chapter of Revelations?
SIDE NOTE 2: He encontrado un plan para leer La Biblia en un año en español