MAKING A NEW START
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1.
What New Year resolutions are you working on this time? I’ve always thought that the best resolution was a resolve not make any more resolutions as they never last through the year! But the idea of a new start is always compelling as we face a new year—even if it’s only to shed the pounds that the Christmas season has accumulated. But if there is an overriding sense of loss for me during the past year, it is the lessening of a constant relationship with our Father.
I have to admit that 2009 has been a good year—at least as good as any previous vintage—and I have nothing but gratitude for the joy that the past year has provided. That makes it even more distressing that the setbacks, disappointments and failures of the year should puncture my faith journey so easily. It is so disturbing that these small things can “hinder and so easily entangle” us.
If omission is a great a sin as commission, then I am compelled to begin 2010 with repentance and seeking forgiveness from Him. In fact, I doubt if any effort to improve my daily walk with God, and consequently with others, can begin with anything less. The idea of “running with perseverance” entails frequent renewal, for constant engagement with the surrounding world, together with my weak nature, continually intercepts my communion with Him.
A passage of Scripture that has a continuing impact on my waywardness is Paul’s reaction to his “light and momentary troubles”—mine are a lot lighter than his ever were! We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18. The lure of the unseen always beckons me forward. The constant nagging that life with Him is far greater than anything this world offers, keeps me coming back to the greater realities of life beyond this.
For having found Him, who alone can completely fill the void of life, nothing else can ever hold the same allure. And as the palmist reminds me, despite my inconsistency, He is always there. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10.
Every day is a “new year” available for a new start. Join me, won’t you, in making not only the first day of January, but every day a renewal with Him?