Jan 3, 2014

Happy New Year—and Let’s Make the Best of It!

A new year affords us something that we all crave and probably need, the ability to start over. We receive a great blessing when we start over because it means we can put all that we have learned from our mistakes to the test. So here we are at the beginning of 2014. We stare down a new year and hope for the best.

Along the halls of a church I recently visited were some words of inspiration, lovingly placed on bulletin boards. One said, “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little.” Another suggested, “Don’t get so busy preparing for a rainy day that you miss today’s sun.” A third told us, “Live so that each day you will neither be afraid of tomorrow or ashamed of yesterday.” The last is one that gives hope to all who believe the promises of scripture when it tells us, “We needn’t worry about what the future holds if we know who holds the future.” Those quotes told me a lot of good things I remember as I enter into a new year.

One picture of a new year I like best is an image of two calendars side by side: the old and the new. One is tattered and torn. Covered by coffee spills, smudgy finger-prints, and ink smeared writing, that old calendar can only be deciphered by perhaps a graphologist-type pharmacist. The old calendar represents commitments made and kept. It is a symbol of the things that we have deemed important and notes the priorities of our past year. It is like a doll whose head is worn threadbare by its loving owner.

On the other hand—and set beside the old calendar—is the new one. Clean and crisp, with no embarrassing markings to tattle out our organizational skills or lack thereof. The new calendar represents the opportunities that await us and the chance to use our time more wisely in the pursuit of life as we want to live it—and perhaps more importantly—as God calls us to live it.

Although many people now use electronic datebooks for their daily or weekly schedules, the old images of paper calendars are compelling. May we begin 2014 with a new slate and forget our last year’s melancholy. 2014 is a year of hope for us all—thanks to God and God’s providence.

Come—worship
Stay—learn
Go—serve

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