I know that there is little difference between yesterday and today and yet, somehow, there is a sense of newness I always feel on New Years Day. It could be that with the winter solstice now behind, a new hope naturally dawns with the lengthening of days. It could be that with a new calendar a fresh opportunity to determine the story it will tell presents itself. Whatever it may be, it's a good opportunity for me to examine the past year for changes that need to be made in the new year, receive God's grace for patterns of sin and seek to grow and change. It is a good time to examine evidences of God's grace and goodness over the past year and be renewed in hope for future graces in the coming year.
Ordinarily I don't make any New Year's resolutions and I don't take the opportunity to examine the past year as I've just described but this year I feel pressing in on me the need to take account of the past year and enter the new year with new purpose. Perhaps because January is a long, dark, cold month and February usually colder still. Perhaps because we are more housebound than usual and there are no celebrations or gatherings on the horizon to focus on. Perhaps because I find this time of year to be the time when I am most tempted to despair and discouragement. Whatever it is, the feelings I have on New Years Day rapidly wane and I have come to realize that this year will not differ from the last if I don't make an effort to examine and plan.
I have not yet taken the time to examine the past year and plan for the new but my husband is working tomorrow and so during our afternoon quiet time I plan to take the time to do this. I have come across two helpful resources that I will use as tools to focus my thoughts and planning. First I will go through Don Whitney's "Ten Questions for a New Year" plus the additional questions he offers. Second, I hope to take my answers, narrow them into three specific guiding goals and chart how I am going to act on them.
While today bears little resemblance from yesterday, by God's grace tomorrow can look
different and next year I can look back and see measurable growth and graces.
Happy New Year!