It’s A New Year

New Year’s Resolutions…do you set a lot of new goals for the coming year? Plans to eat better, exercise more, go to bed earlier, get up earlier, be more organized, read more, etc. etc. etc.  So how is that working out for you? Each year do you look back in December and evaluate whether you’ve been successful in those goals?

It’s interesting to me how the end of one year and the beginning of a new year seems to hit us all with the desire to aspire for more. The older I get the faster time seems to go. I know it’s just an illusion, but it’s one I’m forced to live in. The other day standing in line at a craft store I started chatting with the woman in front of me; of course we talked about our kids. She told me her mom always says, “The days go slowly but the years fly by.” What a great quote! And how true it seems. My “baby” will turn nine this year, and my firstborn will graduate! As we were taking decorations off the tree, I found Marshall’s Mickey Mouse ornament from his first Christmas, and a wave of sadness came over me as I realized it won’t be part of our tree for too many more years. The days indeed meander, while the years fly.

So what is it about the start of a new year that inspires us with ambition? Is it the fresh slate? Is it the realization that the years are flying by? Is it the sudden awareness that we aren’t so young any more?

Time—that precious gift, that taskmaster, that in explicable factor in everything we do! Scripture tells us that man’s days are numbered. Eventually the number is up for each one of us, and our time on this earth is over. So what can we do with such a precious gift? What kinds of goals are worthy of pursuit?

Considering the fleeting nature of time, and the eternal nature of our God and King, it seems the only truly worthy use of our time is in the pursuit of the eternal—knowing and loving God, loving people, loving his word. I’m not saying eating better, sleeping more, or making practical healthful goals is a waste of time. I’m just saying there is so much more!

As I thought back over 2016, I compiled a list of my top ten highlights for the year. None of them were goals I had set in January! All of them were precious gifts from my heavenly Father. I don’t want to miss out on those gifts by managing my own agenda. What do I really want out of 2017? I want to reach the end of this year, and know Jesus more intimately than I do now. I want to love others more freely. I want to serve God more faithfully.  I want to expect his return more joyfully. And at the end of 2017 I expect I’ll compile my top ten highlights, and yet again be delighted to find that each one is a gift from His hand.

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