I hope that everyone enjoyed a peaceful and merry Christmas. For me, the week afterward is filled with mixed emotions – Christmas excitement let down and the excitement of starting a new year. Many of us will proclaim “Resolutions” for change in the coming year, while others look at the new year with dread. So many people are unsure of what is coming in the new year or are disappointed in what transpired in the past year, that they simply dread the reminder of a new calendar year. This holiday is a great time to be reminded that each day, month and year that passes, is a part of God’s plan. Author Rick Warren in his book Purpose Driven Life, starts the book reminding the reader that “it (life) is not about you.” We concentrate so much on ourselves that we lose focus on what is God’s plan or that God is in control. We should be asking God for clarity on what He wants us to know or do in the coming year. Setting resolutions is about doing things for yourself or staying focused on what you want to get done. We never seem to ask God what He wants us to accomplish. Resolutions and dread for a new year are a result of things of this world. Try focusing on a relationship with God and seeking to understand what He is doing in your life; it will make hanging up a new calendar much easier.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
I hope that this verse kick-starts your new year by helping to refocus on what is really important. If you create any resolutions, resolve to grow in your faith and understanding of God’s will in your life. God has laid the path, from the day you were born to your final day; He is in control. Do not let this world get to you. Everywhere we turn, we see signs of the terrible patterns of this world. Turn away from them and renew your mind. These words, written more than 2000 years ago, are as if St. Paul was present in 2014. God keeps His promises, it is us who fail to see them or open our hearts and minds to them. We expect things given to us of this world and when God doesn’t deliver, we feel let down. I’d suggest that perhaps, God was at work teaching and not punishing us. I hope that you begin 2015 with an open mind, an open heart and the understanding that “it’s not about you”, it’s about God. Happy New Year!