Happy New Year!!
New Year – new page in the calendar – new start – clean slate.
All these things spring to mind when we get to January 1st each year. Many people will make resolutions to change things about themselves they are unhappy with, or with situations that are unhealthy in their lives. For the vast majority of people, New Year resolutions usually involve some sort of lifestyle overhaul so perhaps they would aim to give up smoking, or go on a diet, or take up a new sport in order to change things. The vast majority of these people fall by the wayside in the weeks ahead and generally speaking, those who have made a New Year resolution to do one of these things have given up by 10th January. Yes that’s right – nine days from now.
There are people who resolve to change something about themselves and their behaviour, and there seems to be some evidence that this sort of change is more sustainable. For example those who vow to involve themselves in charitable work, or to mend a broken relationship seem to have more success. There may be something in the fact that inward-looking resolutions break down earlier and easier than outward-looking ones. Maybe doing something for other people is more compatible with change than doing something for ourselves.
Perhaps it has something to do with making changes out of regrets from the past: do we need to go on a diet or take up a new sport because we regret the things we have eaten or the shape our bodies are in now? Do we regret a broken relationship because of our behaviour towards a certain someone in the past?
The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land”. ISAIAH 43:18-19
I’m inclined to interpret that passage that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when it comes to committing to change, or regretting what has happened in the past. We should be confident that any changes that need to happen in our lives are already happening and we should look to the future not the past.
Whatever your plans for the coming months, or whatever resolutions you have made this year, I hope that you will be blessed in your endeavours. Do not regret the past and look ahead to a joyous future.
Happy New Year everyone.