Some thoughts on New Years

I like New Years. Maybe it’s sort of arbitrary but something about beginning a New Year makes you feel like you have a clean slate – like you have new possibilities and new opportunities. You start to dream about how this year is going to be better than the year before. You make resolutions that just show your determination to become a better person and have a better year. And even though most of us won’t keep our resolutions and the year won’t look quite like we imagine or dream it will look, and even though we know all that it still seems like every year we get caught up in the hope and excitement of a new year all over again. No matter how good the year before it was we begin a new year with dreams and visions of how this next year can be better… This year I really will exercise more. This year I really will write that book I’ve always wanted to write. This year I will find a job that fulfills me. This year I will… [fill in with whatever it is you want this year to be]. We know that there’s a good chance we won’t meet our goals or reach our New Year’s resolutions but we do it anyway… why? Maybe because we need to believe that life can be better, that we can be better. I think there is something in us that needs to believe we can start over - that we can be the people we want to be…something in us that wants a New Year, a new start, a new life. Something in us that longs for HOPE and finds new hope every year at New Years.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about hope… and feeling renewed hope in God and in the life that He’s given me. New Years is about hope. We have a New Year, so we can be New ourselves. Christ is all about hope… He came that we might have New Life, and have it to the full. The New Year offers us a new chance to be the people we want to be. Christ offers us a new chance to be the people He made us to be. But, with Jesus it’s not about making a resolution to be better it’s about simply giving up and following Him, walking with Him where He leads allowing Him to slowly but surely shape us into better people and use us to shape the world around us into His kingdom.

My hope for myself and for all those I know is that this New Year would be a time of New Life for all of us - a year of surrendering more fully to Christ and allowing Him to work in us and through us to bring new life and new hope to our own lives and to the world around us. Happy New Year and God bless us every one.

Rejoicing in the journey - Beth Stedman