The New Year stretches out before me like an empty textbook not yet written. Pages from the previous year are no longer chronicled – the blunders, the hurts, the trials, the joys – and a second chance is given to edit those that can be better and revise those that can’t.
The list of needed improvements is long - overwhelming even – and the inclination to address them all in the short 365 days ahead a task most likely to disappoint. The approach is good intentioned but the areas of need too large, and failure the result before adjustments even attempted.
Rather than regard all those things I believe warrant change from a secular perspective, I am embracing the upcoming year from one that is eternal. Guidance is uniquely provided in God’s Word - instructions both wide-ranging and many - but a tendency to complicate the simple and over analyze the obvious has potential to distract from the pursuit.
Thankfully, for those like me - simple-minded with an attention span at a deficit - a clear, overall theme for direction is provided in the greatest commands ever given. Following the One who has already written my story, my resolutions come from a response I pray will preface this year’s personal chapters on all thoughts, words and deeds. When asked to give the greatest commandment as found in God’s law, Jesus replies,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Love God. Love others. A worthy beginning in the pursuit of answers to life’s questions and the corrections to life’s mistakes. Simple instructions that stand firm even in my excess, my worry, and my sin; timeless advice that covers forgiveness, disappointments and grace.
And whatever the year may bring – the blunders, the hurts, the trials, and the joys – I know ahead of time that my story ends well. The perfection of the Author’s edits and revisions guarantees it.
Happy New Year –
Because you know I’m silly, and can’t miss out on an opportunity for extra joy, I have written the following amendments to consider with the resolutions above:
1. I will love God. I will love others. And pray that the Georgia Football team recovers by next season.
2. I will not use the smoke detector in my kitchen as a cooking timer.
3. I will attend all eyebrow waxing appointments in a timely manner so that tools requiring electricity will not be necessary.
4. I will schedule office bills to be paid on automated bank draft so that my husband does not worry about taking care of patients in the dark.
5. I will not be tempted by the skinny jean or any type of legging that hugs the skin in a manner that reveals unsightly cellulite of which only yours truly should be aware.
6. I will laugh so hard and so often that fugitive stomach muscles will be forced to come out of hiding.
7. I will exercise patience in the carpool line and deny myself all fantasies of skidding to a sideways stop in front of the school in Dukes of Hazard fashion.
8. I will listen more, talk on my cell phone less and always drive with my hands in the 10 an 2 position.
9. I will better pay attention to the silly little dials found in the instrument panel of my car.
10. I will believe the scale I step on and not think that it is a conspiracy masterminded by Weight Watchers.
11. And finally, I will love those who don’t love me back, and if a turn around ever occurs, remind them later of the nonsense they were missing. : )