Another New Year


I believe one of the many mercies that our God has given us is the sign of the setting and rising sun.

As the sun sets, it is a sign that today is coming to a close, the events and actions and thoughts and mistakes going down to be buried beneath the earth, or lost in the shadow of time.

As the sun rises, it begins a new fresh day, one that is, at least for the moment, untarnished by human error. You can choose at the beginning of the day to be a different person you were the day before. You can choose to shed the old errors and try to do something new.

The same is true for weeks (Sunday being the first day), months, and even years.

What is nice about the solar new year is that it begins in the middle of winter, not long after the solstice—the shortest day of the year. This is the “dead” of winter, when nothing is growing and all the animals have fled south. This is when the day is just barely long enough to wake up at all.

During this time, we can look back at the old year and remember all of our successes and failures. We can also look forward to the new year and plan out new successes.

Even though I believe everyone participates in this ritual, intentionally or not, I still believe it is has a religious attitude to it. What a wonderful world we live in, where it is possible to leave mistakes buried in the past, where we can judge ourselves and others not based on what we are, but on what we may become! We look forward, naturally, to newer and greater things. Or situation today is merely the sum total of our actions and events of the past, but today also holds the promise of a greater future that totally outweighs whatever we are today. This is how God sees us, and how He wants us to see each other. Ultimately, our potential is endless, and no man can hope to know the full depths and heights to which we will be able to reach.

Make your New Year’s resolutions. Decide on things you can do today. Don’t make too many, but make only a few changes each year, and embrace them wholly. Write them down. Show them to God. Show them to your closest friends and family. Every day, week, and month, read them back to yourself. This is how you change yourself—by focusing on what you want to be, not on what you are. Yes, know what you are, but look at it only to see what you need to become next.


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