Every year, I make some New Year's resolutions. Every year, I break those resolutions, some of them by Jan. 2. So, why should I continue to make resolutions for the new year?
FIRST, making new resolutions allows us to close the door on the past. When we make a resolve, it means that we're ready to put the 2018 past behind us. We cannot go back, even one single hour. God has locked the door to yesterday. There is nothing we can say or do that will change what happened in 2018. Only the memory remains.
Therefore, I will choose to remember the good things that happened in my life. I will choose to forget, and hopefully forgive, the bad things that occurred in my life. How much better life is when we remember the good that people have added to our lives, remember how others have helped us, and forget how they have hurt us. How much better to remember the many times God has forgiven us, and to forget the many times we have sinned against Him. How good it is to offer forgiveness to others, in His name.
How much better it is to forget the pain and suffering we've endured and to remember God's healing, God's comfort and strength, God's loving care. Let us choose to recall that it is God who inspires us to make resolutions to improve our lives, recall that it is God who gives us the courage and strength to keep those resolutions. After all, God wants the very best for all His people.
SECONDLY, making resolutions allows us to open doors to the future. The 2019 New Year stands in front of us like a giant screen. Nothing has been programmed for us. With each decision we make, we write a new direction for our lives.
Remembering, also, that our decisions affect the lives of the people around us. Perhaps if we were wise, we would consult God on a daily basis; for it was God Almighty who created "the good life." It is Almighty God who watches over us, provides us with everything we really need, and offers us life-at-its-best. It's only our bad choices that keep us from having the best.
We have the opportunity to live a heavenly life here and now on this earth. God will open doors-of-opportunity for us in the year ahead; we must choose to walk through those open doors! Hopefully, we will choose to be open to love, to forgiveness and mercy, to peace, to joy, to faithfulness, to serving others, to being more friendly and courteous, and to eternal hope.
An unknown poet has given us these words:
"I always get mixed feelings every year at this time;
They come as I reflect on the days I've left behind.
It seems like yesterday that New Year's Day was here;
But here we are again beginning another new year.
365 days were given me with special opportunities galore;
One by one they have gone, never to be restored.
Time is a gift from God allotted to every one;
It is mine to use and do the best I can.
It is not in the past that I'll seek to stay;
It is in the future which begins with today!"
I will continue to make New Year's resolutions. With God's help, I might even keep some of them. The hope is that I will come to the close of 2019 a better person than when I began the year. Hopefully, I will add something good to the lives of the people I will meet along the way. Hopefully, I will make a positive difference in this old world, and help to create a Heaven-on-earth. Happy New Year!
Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 01/03/2019
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