Are you, like me, tired of the same old New Year’s feature stories and articles? I mean really. Can a TV program convince us to lose weight or exercise if we haven’t made those commitments already? And do we really care about the latest trends in fashion for the new year? Or how to organize our kitchens, closets, offices, or garages? We’ve been there and done that. And if we feel like it, we’ll do it again. But not because we read an article about it or saw it on TV!
Still, we shouldn’t let our cynicism about stock New Year’s features keep us from using the new year for a much needed jump start or as motivation to make some necessary changes. So what’s going to be new with you? What change are you ready to make not just because it’s the first week of January, but because you’re ready to make it? Think about that while I share a few of mine.
First, I’m ready for a new perspective on politics. Seeing the movie “Lincoln” reminded me that leadership can be either exemplary and unifying, as it was with our 16th president, or deplorable and divisive. But that regardless, our nation will survive for as long as God wills it—not a day longer and not a day less. So we can do our best to be responsible citizens, and we can pray. That’s it. My new perspective includes letting go of the sadness about our nation that has been upon me for so long now. It’s weighing me down and making me unpleasant to be around, and it’s got to go.
Second, I can feel in my bones that this is the year I will deliver on my desire to “downsize in place.” My husband and I aren’t ready to leave our home for smaller digs because we still love having room for kids and grandkids to visit. But we are both ready to jettison a whole lot of the stuff in it: to streamline our lives in every conceivable way so that we’re ready for whatever the future holds. I don’t need a fortune teller to tell me there are a lot of large, black trash bags in our future. It’s going to happen!
Third, although I haven’t taken time for granted for many years now, I’m going to take more seriously the wisdom of Psalm 90:12: Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. As trite as it sounds, each day IS a gift. I have no idea how many I have left to do the work I feel God has called me to do, but I’m wise enough to know there’s no longer time for procrastination. This year I will be keenly aware of time and treat it with respect.
My sister Mary called me this morning and commented on the first devotion in the book God Calling, edited by A. J. Russell, that we are both reading this year. Written by two British women who met to pray together in the 1930’s, it contains the things they believed God was saying to them through his son Jesus Christ. In the January 1 entry we read: I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come—the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorrow and disappointment. Dwell not on the past—only on the present. I determined not to let the past use up too much of the present many years ago. But, with the Lord’s help, I’ll be even more focused on the present as I move into this new year.
What about you? What’s new with you?
(Thanks to my grandson Peter for being my model once again. This was taken on New Year’s Eve 2009. If this doesn’t get you going, what will?)