New Years is my least favorite holiday. New Years resolutions are some of my least favorite things. Every year, I dislike this day and usually avoid all social media and all the "new year, new me" posts that flood it.
I think it's easy for us to make a list of New Years resolutions (lose 20 pounds! Eat healthier! Go to the gym everyday! Stop drinking soda! Find a boyfriend!) because it's December 31st and we see January 1 as a new beginning. I also think it's easy for those lists to get lost and forgotten by January 6, or February 12, or October 22. We resolve to make change, life gets busy, we forget, and it doesn't stick. The gym gets really crowded for a few weeks, and then it goes back to normal. Whole Foods and Trader Joes have longer lines, maybe McDonalds has a shorter drive thru line, but everything evens out as the year goes on. I don't think New Years resolutions as a list and a lot of self-made promises really work. Maybe for some they do, but it's a lot of hype that I don't buy into.
Why? Because I don't think we need a new calendar year to make change. Because I believe in a God whose mercies are new every single morning and who offers me new grace and new love every single day. Every day is a chance for a restart, for repentance, for renewal.
Check these verses out:
Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Revelation 21:5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
We don't need a ball to drop and confetti to fly as we count down to a new year for there to be a chance for change and new life and new hope for us. What we need is Jesus.
My pastor tweeted it perfectly this week: "@peterbowell1: The Bible's formula for perseverance is not another New Years resolution but fixing our eyes on Jesus. The relationship keeps us running."
For 2014, I'm not making a list of resolutions. I'm choosing to focus my eyes and my heart and my life on Jesus.
As part of the #oneword365 community, I'm choosing to "DEVOTE" this year. That's my one word, my focus, my goal. Last year, my word was "commit." The year before, "beloved."
This year, devote. Devote my time intentionally. Devote my energy wholeheartedly. Devote my mornings to being in the Word more diligently. Devote my weekends to time with friends, time exploring and growing and going on adventures. Devote my life to following the Spirit's leading. Devote my talents to glorifying the Lord. Devote.
Happy 2014, friends. May your year ahead be gloriously filled with new mercies every morning, new hope in our Savior, and new adventures as you follow the Spirit.