A newspaper cartoon pictured a large library with shelf after shelf of books.  In the midst of the picture was a man seated at a table, looking at himself in a mirror; and the caption underneath read: “The little thing that puzzles him.”  The cartoonist was suggesting that for all of our multiplied knowledge, as symbolized by an endless collection of books, the thing we still know least about is ourselves.

                Support for this suggestion can be found in the chronological development of the great sciences.  The first was astronomy.  Then came geology, biology, sociology and finally psychology.  Thus our newest and possibly our least developed science is the study of the human mind and spirit.  We started by studying the stars; and only after many centuries did we get around to taking a closer look at ourselves.  Why is it that we are so reluctant to come to grips with our own lives?

                The Gospels indicate that Jesus felt no such reluctance.  At the outset of this public ministry, He spent several weeks in the wilderness struggling with the big questions of who He was, why He was here, and what He would do with His life.  “He stayed in the wasteland forty days, put to the test there by Satan.”  If we had been there we, of course, would not have seen a devil with horns and a tail.  What we would have seen was a young man alone with His thoughts, wrestling with Himself and the real issues of life.  There in the wilderness He made some choices and commitments that would guide and sustain Him in the days that lay ahead.  He had come to grips with His own life.

                Then, and only then did He launch His ministry of saving others.  His message was simple, direct, and personal: “The reign of God is at hand.”  Reform your lives and believe the good news.”  In essence, He was calling the people to do what He, Himself had done – to come to grips with their own lives.

                A new year is here!  How will we use these days to come to grips with our own lives?  Take the necessary time to look into ones’ own heart and mind and to work at the Lord’s invitation: “Reform your life and believe the good news.”  It will bless your life tremendously.