Only God Can Make a New Year Truly New
- Friday, December 30, 2005
I don’t know how we could possibly be at the footpaths of 2006. Just last week, I wrote a check and dated it 1988. As quickly as the years pass, it’s hard not to fall behind.
Nevertheless, here we are, about to turn the page on yet another. So what do we do? We all stop to reflect, to ponder, to meditate on the past 12 months. We ask ourselves what we did wrong, what we did right and resolve to make changes that will make us better human beings -- or at least decent company at the dinner table. So let the reflections begin.
I made my share of mistakes in 2005, starting with a pair of low-rise jeans I was sure would stretch out the more I wore them. Spandex, it seems, has its limits. So did my commitment to get healthy in 2005. I dropped out of exercise class after 30 days, my all-vegetable diet lasted 14 ½ hours, and my caffeine fast never made it off last year’s new resolutions list.
Like most of us, there are a few personal choices I regret. Several apologies had to be made and a little crow was eaten. We had a few pet traumas involving dogs, ferrets and a suicidal mouse. I skipped Sunday school a few times and lied when I told the creditor the check was in the mail (though it did have a stamp on it buried somewhere on my desk). Overall, however, 2005 was free from catastrophic failure or disappointment.
On the up side, I have made it one calendar year without a speeding ticket. The three I got in 2004 taught me the value of cruise control, if not self control. I have made it four whole months at a new job without forgetting even once to show up. I didn’t freak out even a little when the subject of dating was brought up by my teenage son. Okay, so I freaked out a little, but I didn’t ship him to Amish country as my original plan called for. I paid off some debts. I organized my laundry room, and I painted the outside of the house. In all I didn’t change the world, but considering what I might actually do to it, that is another plus for me.
As for resolutions – I don’t think so. This year’s resolution is just next year’s failure.
So, what has this little exercise actually accomplished? I feel bad about my mess-ups, but then I remind myself I’m okay, because after all, my son is not handcuffed in his room. Basically, from my perspective, it’s a wash. The status quo remains undisturbed. Maybe that’s why God tells us to ask for His perspective rather than relying on our own. If you really want a measure of yourself, invite God to do the year-end review.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24).
God alone can reveal if our hearts and minds are in tune with His. And while He is considering our ways, we should be considering His.
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