Happy New Year! I find it fitting that January 1 falls on a Wednesday.
January 1 is the first day of a new year. It signifies new beginnings, a fresh start, and a chance to set a new direction. Many people make new year’s resolutions. And even the ones who don’t, still have their plans and goals affected by this huge milestone. January 1 is a beginning.
But today is also Wednesday. Wednesday is the middle of the week. When we’re at school or at work and it’s Wednesday, we know that we’ve still half of the week ahead of us. Our status on Wednesday has to do with how Tuesday, Monday, and even the previous weekend went. Wednesday is in the middle.
In the same way, today is the beginning of the New Year. But it it is also the middle of our lives. Last night’s festivities did nothing to erase whatever status we were in yesterday.
We don’t get a reset button for our health, finances, relationships, careers, education, or reputation. These are the products of our previous decisions until now, and they will continue on whatever trend they were on in 2013 unless something drastic changes.
Wise people don’t rely on external (and often artificial) landmarks for life change. They know that it has to come through wise decisions, self-discipline, and consistency. They aren’t expecting these things from anyone, especially not from a holiday heralded by hot pyrotechnic hysterics.
I’m not saying change is impossible. I’m just saying it’s not automatic and it’s not instant. It always involves decisions and processes. So yes, let’s face 2014 with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. But let’s also keep in mind that it’ll require certain decisions and processes in our life to get them.
Now some of us may give up at this point.
- What if I don’t have the wisdom to make right decisions?
- What if I don’t have the strength to live the way I should?
- What if I don’t have the discipline to follow-through on this resolution?
Someone once said whoever we are now is the sum total of all the decisions of our life. That can be discouraging when we look back at all the negative choices and decisions we’ve made.
That’s why we don’t just need a reset button for our health, finances, etc. We need a reset button for our life. Because even if we started from scratch, the same internal patterns that brought us where we are will lead us right back.
That’s what the good news of Jesus promises. It’s not a set of religious resolutions to follow. It’s not a series of decisions that you need to make and stick to. Christianity is for those who realize that we are incapable of making these choices for ourselves. And even if we know the right and wise thing to do, we’d still want to choose the wrong thing anyway.
That’s why Jesus died to give us a new life. Not a new year, but a new set of desires, new strength, new discipline, all coming from a new relationship with God. The newness is instant, but the change is gradual. Once the initial decision to trust Him with all our life has been made, you will find these changes showing up gradually in your life as you continue in this new direction.
Happy New Year! May 2014 be an awesome year for everyone!
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