I'm sure by now you've all made your New Year's Resolutions to lose weight, read more, exercise more, spend less, watch less television, and read the Bible from cover to cover in a year.
By next week half that list will be forgotten or delayed and by the end of the month...well...let's just say you'll probably be in the same boat the rest of the country. New Year's Resolutions? What are those?
I've never been big on New Year's Resolutions, but the one thing I have tried to do is remind myself each year at this time to analyze the past year and put it to rest. Kind of like Paul talking about putting the past behind him and pressing on toward the goal. For me the goal is falling more passionately in love with Jesus.
When I stop and think about 2008, I try to zero in on whether I lived up to that goal of passion and love in the Lord. Did I extend encouragement to the weary and heartbroken? Did I practice tolerance and love without compromising God's Word? Did I show respect for others even when I felt they didn't deserve respect?
I usually come up short in my accounting, but then God's grace kicks in and I'm reminded that He knows our shortcomings and inabilities. He knows how helpless we are without Him. He reminds me gently that He's never called me to do anything on my own, but has always promised to be there with me--helping me--loving me--guiding me. With that in mind, I put aside 2008 and all of its woes and problems. Like a well-used blackboard, I'm washing away all the markings and problems that needed resolution in 2008, and I'm starting fresh.
2009 looks like it will be a grand and glorious time. It promises the hope of starting fresh--rebirth. I wish you the best for this new year, and I thank you for being a part of my life.