The number zero is often, and logically seen as representing…well, nothing. When we begin counting things, we always start with one. People think one is the beginning. In reality, it all starts from zero.
A quick example to illustrate my point. When we see a Space Shuttle launch, we wait with great anticipation as we watch the countdown. Five, four, three, two, one…we have liftoff! If you watch the giant digital clock at launches, you see negative numbers as it counts down, then positive numbers as it times the length of the mission following liftoff. To go from sitting on the launch pad to hurtling into space and orbiting this great planet, it had to go through zero.
I enjoy war movies. Yeah, I’m a guy. Sue me. But if you’ve ever seen the movie Full Metal Jacket, you have undoubtedly seen the famous tirades of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, played by R. Lee Ermey. While the scenes of Hartman berating his recruits offered awkwardly memorable and even humorous quotes, it was an accurate portayal of how and where men off the streets were stripped down to nothing. Stripped of their identities, their histories, their egos, their individuality…everything. From that point, they could then be built up into Marines.
We are in a powerful place when we are at zero. Being at the end of ourselves is where God begins. Sometimes we start to act on our own strength, and we end up needing to undo the stuff we’ve done that God never intended for us. This can be awkward, even painful.
Today is a day of renewal. What areas in your home are cluttered with stuff that has accumulated over time. Your garage? Your office? It’s tough to move around in a cluttered room, isn’t it? It’s even hard to add things which can be really good, even necessary, into a room that is overstuffed. What about the areas in your life? Has work consumed you? Church activities? Seeking social outlets? Bad relationships? Even good things can overtake our lives and schedules and keep us from quality time with God and our families.
Now is the time to find the power of zero. From there, great things can happen.