There is something inexplicably magical about a New Year. For homosapiens (that’s you and me ), it is an event that symbolizes a panacea to all life’s issues.
Its like a fresh start for everyone ( except if you have a criminal record )
It even has that new car smell to it. Another page gets turned. Another Chapter is being written. You basically get a do-over in life.
To reset and reboot .
To dream again, to try again..
And to reach for things that seem unattainable. Again.
You know all those goals you never reached in 2016? The six-pack-abs goal, the eating-healthy goal , the become-a-millionaire goal, the fortitude-not-to-watch-another-Marvel-Avengers-movie-goal (and then you have a lapse in judgment and you watch one only to realize how unbelievably bad they are- every. single. one.)
Well now you get to scrap those and create new ones that you’re probably not going to accomplish. (Im kidding)
Even though I didn’t reach those goals I decided to retrieve one from the archives that I made three years ago. And right now. This very moment. Im accomplishing it (so there is hope! ). It was my goal one day to start my own blog.
I did it and now I get to put a big fat check next to that one.
A New Year is also a time to learn from mistakes and to forget things that are unhelpful. Like the time your friend recommended an ultra hipster coffee shop to try, so you try it, and the coffee tasted like they steeped old cigarette buds in hot water mixed with ashes and soot (hipsters love soot). And of course this ultra hipster coffee shop wouldnt name their beverages something normal like “Cold Brew” or “Iced Coffee”. No that would be too understandable and reasonable. This coffee shop was so “authentic” that they had all their coffee selections in the native tongues in relation to where they were harvested geographically. So if you aren’t fluent in Tanzanian or Ancient Aboriginal tongues, you have the option of hiring their full time menu interpreter to help you navigate your coffee experience. Needless to say the only word I recognized on the menu was “wifi”.
A New Year is also a time to remember all the lessons learned (like never to go back to that coffee shop). To recollect all the memories made . To press on, to move forward.
There is an innate longing in us as humans to crave newness. To desire rebirth. I believe that’s why new year’s resolutions play such vital role in our lives.
And yet for some reason we believe that this type of reorientation is only reserved for one time at the end of the year and the start of a new one.
As if we can’t do all those things on any other day or at any other time?
For this reason and many more reasons is why I love my Faith tradition.
Christianity houses a wealth of wisdom and truth that constantly points us to the fact that every moment is a chance to start over.
Throughout scripture you encounter compelling words like “God’s mercies are new every morning”.
“Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. Behold, Im doing a new thing!”
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a New Creation. The old is gone and the new has come!”
Every page, every poem, every song, every prophecy is drenched in this movement.
The trajectory of scripture is this constant pulling and prodding of God’s people to move forward.
To move beyond our past. Beyond our failures. Beyond our fears.
To move forward even if its a fall. If you fall forward you still fall upon a grace that is sufficient enough to hold you.
To move forward with this in mind;
Every minute is an opportunity for change,
Every tomorrow is a place for regeneration,
The worst week , month, or season is not final but a temporary period that holds no permanence.
The trial, the hardships, the failures are not what define you.
The cold winter gives way to a vibrant spring,
The darkest night gives way to the brightest dawn,
As we hold fast to a hope that resists finality. We believe in second chances.
Mulligans occur (its a golf term.)
Grace abounds , Mercy overwhelms.
We. still. move. forward.
We get to look ahead with anticipation,
Knowing things can be different.
Things will get better,
We can improve, we can be better.
Its going to take God’s Grace (a lot of it ). Its going to take God’s Love (God’s love is unchanging and unwavering towards us regardless if our performance is stellar or subpar). And its going to take God’s people (life change always happens in the context of relationship, so make sure you surround yourself with people to encourage you and hold you accountable).
So even if you’re a week in to 2017 and you have failed at every single one of your New Years resolutions, you don’t have to wait until another 365 days to pass for another chance.
You can start over. Right here. Right now.
Cheers to a New Year!