“…old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Paul’s letter to the Corinthians expresses the exhilarating feeling when a person accepts Christ as his Savior. How often we approach the New Year with a similar excitement and expectancy!
In truth, not much changes when we turn over the calendar to 2018. Many of the things that were problems in 2017 haven’t gone away. Many of the things that brought us joy in 2017 can still be summoned from our memories. And yet, we feel as if the slate has been wiped clean as we start the month of January, unlike the start of any other month. We make resolutions (are yours still working?). We plan new adventures and new projects to be completed this year. It’s a time when, if ever we have time and inclination to ponder our status in life, we contemplate our work, our relationships, and, hopefully, our spiritual condition.
While all these reflections may lead us to despair, or fear, or anticipation; it’s good to have periodic examinations of where we’re heading. It’s good to feel that we can start over and change things for the better. Which is where we are as we enter each new year.
We’re living in an era cluttered with smartphones, TV and the printed word; all of which yield too much information – and not all of it necessarily trustworthy. As a consequence, if we take it to heart, it becomes oppressively frightening, or hopeful, or disgusting, or all warm and fuzzy. An emotional rollercoaster that adds up to lots of stress, almost all of which we feel is out of our control.
Perhaps this is the attraction of the New Year. We want to put all that annoys us or has put us to the test into the past. We want to start over. It’s a time that allows optimism to taint our outlook and hope to blossom. It’s also a time to, upon reflection, remember that God is in charge.
As you launch into this New Year, try, as much as is possible, to maintain the high standards that you set for yourself on January 1.
May the year 2018 be a blessing for all of us.