Small confession: I don’t particularly care for New Year’s celebrations.
First off, if I’m going to stay up until midnight (not a night owl here) I need it to be a quiet and easy transition into the New Year. It’s just my personal preference that brings a kind of realistic expectation of things to come from one calendar year to another. No resolutions for me thank you, just a grateful understanding that God is still consistently the same as always.
In God there is no space or time. God created time. Time does not bind the Creator. Because of this, I have no new expectation from God because God does not change. I do however expect a new revelation of God and what He wants for me.
So what are all of these decrees, declarations and resolutions about?
I would imagine that these are desires to see new things take place in our lives that have not happened before. What I’ve come to understand is that the “new thing” comes only when I am open to changing within, not with the changing of the year.
When I resolve to understand that my past mistakes are necessary for my future success, then I am making a ‘resolution’ to move forward in wisdom and understanding. This thinking eliminates for me, the need to expect an outward newness to appear out of nowhere, because I understand that change only occurs from a desire to change. There is no magic involved.
When it comes to the concept that I must leave all bad things from the previous year in order to enjoy a new year, I disagree. I need to remember the lessons from my mistakes in order to avoid making them again. I need to remember my failures the way that a small child needs to remember that fire is hot to keep from getting burned. I can however, forgive myself for making such mistakes so that I don’t attach a permanent label of failure to my life.
When you think of it, short term failure is not all that bad. Ask any inventor or athlete. Ask anyone who has ever had a dream that began with small efforts that failed until they achieved success.
Failure can be a launching pad if we allow it to be.
My failures have always, always been relational. I’ve gained wisdom in so many other areas in my life but when it comes to relationships…well, I just kind of stumble through them haphazardly trying to get them right. Each year I make a tiny bit of progress hoping for more. Each year I end up with a list of things that I need to remember not to do again. I’m becoming an expert at ‘failing forward’ in this area.
Instead of decreeing that I’ll have great relationships in 2016 however, I’d rather quietly ask for wisdom on how to navigate through the difficulties of understanding and relating to the people that are in my life on a deeper level. You see, the wisdom has always been available I just needed to ask for it, again no magic here.
Whatever area you need growth in for the coming year, asking for wisdom is the key. James 1:5 is one of my favorite scriptures to date: “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. NKJ
If you choose to celebrate the new year with a crowd, blowing streamers and dancing the night away or at a church service or a quiet party of one, enjoy and remember that what you expect to change this coming year, can only come when we make the effort to ask for wisdom and guidance, whether it’s at 11:59 pm tonight or next Tuesday at noon, there is no deadline.
And again…no magic.
Happy New Year