The New Year is upon us. It is hard to believe we are nearly a quarter of the way through the twenty-first century. It seems like we were just discussing the turn of the century yesterday. Chaucer said, “Time and tide wait for no man.” The calendar changing from one year to the next provides opportunities.
A new year is an opportunity to reflect. To reflect means to think deeply or carefully about something. I think we can reflect with regret or to remember. Regret over things we cannot change, can bring greater sorrow and disappointment. If there are things we need to repent of and get right, then regret can be helpful. If it causes us to get bogged down in emotions that are only worldly sorrow, then it is not beneficial. If we reflect to remember then we can think back over what we experienced in the past year and appreciate the blessings, and learn from our experiences. Take time to reflect and write down blessings from the past year as well as lessons you have learned.
A new year is an opportunity to refocus. Resolutions are probably of limited value. I read statistics that said 43% of people expect to break their resolutions before February and 25% quit within the first week. It is helpful however, to refocus physically and spiritually. What are things you want to emphasize and goals you would like to accomplish in the new year? Take time to refocus and write these down so you can look back on them at the end of the year and see your progress.
A new year is an opportunity for renewal. Each new year we should renew our commitment to walk with God. Each day is a gift from God and we should be thankful. The foundation of your spiritual life is prayer and time in the Word of God. YouVersion is a great resource that is very easy to use. I also find My Utmost For His Highest to be a great supplemental resource. Whether you have walked faithfully with God over the past year, or not, renew your devotion and God will meet you when you draw near to Him. Take time to write down how you want to seek renewal in the new year.
Lamentations 3:22-24 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him!
Read Billy Graham’s Prayer for a New Year, originally written for The Saturday Evening Post.