Christmas is over, the New Year is just a couple days away, and this is the time of year that many people re-evaluate and try to make a fresh start. Time for "New Year's Resolutions." Batman and I are working on a couple, and most people have at least one. Some resolve to eat better, to lose weight, to get in shape, to live simpler, to learn how to knit and finish that washcloth you started almost a year ago, to finish that book you've been planning for - what feels like - ever. Some resolutions turn outward and might be to spend more time with your family, to help others more, to volunteer more, to be a better parent, to be a better spouse, or friend, son or daughter, brother or sister. Maybe it is to read your Bible more, or to pray more... What I have found is that most people, in their resolutions, are trying to be a better person. And when they fall short the first time, many people give up. So here are a couple things I want you to consider as the New Year approaches:
The first day of the year is, essentially, just a day. Nowhere does it say that you must eat right, or exercise, or quit smoking, or read your Bible starting ONLY on January first. Really, that isn't a law anywhere. Today is just as good a day as any. Why wait?
On January 5th or 6th, when you screw up and eat that greasy burger, or forget to pick up your Bible that morning, DON'T QUIT!! I sincerely hope no one is ruffled or offended because I said "when"... I have just been there, done that, and know enough about human nature to know that WE ALL SCREW UP AT SOME POINT. Look, if you were already perfect, you wouldn't be making a New Year's Resolution to begin with. So, WHEN you mess up, don't GIVE UP. Every single day is a fresh start. God doesn't work like that. He doesn't hang out in Heaven, looking down and say to us, "Nope, I forgave you for that only the first time you asked. You do THAT again and you are up a creek." No. Rather, He gives a clean slate again! Which is not to say that we get to keep on messing up on purpose just because we know we'll be forgiven, but there is grace. God sees the heart, and He forgives when we come to him and once again washes us clean. So, if God doesn't give up on us or deem us to be "unchangeable", why should we do that to ourselves? Each day is a new, fresh start, regardless of the burger we ate or the Bible we didn't pick up yesterday. And God is waiting with open arms for us to come running to Him and ask Him for a fresh start.