New Year, New Perspective
I like new beginnings. The first pages of a new book, the first minutes of a new movie, the first days of a new year. Fresh starts are always important.
Did your fall semester end on a low note? The spring semester that begins this week provides a new beginning. Was last year a tough one at work? Were you forced to find a new job or move from a place you loved to a new locale? All are difficult, but one way to cope is to think of what you can gain in experience, friendships and life in your new situation.
Is an important relationship in trouble? Did someone you love die? Are you worried about the life-progress a child is making or failing to make? Maybe the new year will provide fresh vision and a brighter hope.
A sense of brokenness is often the necessary first step to renewal and healing. So it isn’t a bad thing to lament our losses and failures. But we can’t live in the lament. To do so is fatal to the spirit.
I’ve never been an advocate of long lists of New Year’s resolutions. Such lists are intimidating and frustrating. Most resolutions are too vague, I.e., “I’m going to save money this year.” And given that we know all too well how often we fail, pledging to do something for 365 days is a formidable task. There is a better way.
Remember the advice Jesus gave about such matters? “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own” (MT 6:34). That is not a call for carelessness; it’s a challenge to deal with today’s reality. Imagine if today we paid some attention to our health, our finances, our relationships and our soul. And then did the same tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
Today, January 6, 2013 is God’s gift to you. With the reality of His presence and a one-day-at-a-time surrender to Him and embrace of life, this can be a terrific year. I pray that it will be so for all of us.