Typically, people make resolutions as they say goodbye to the old and usher in the new. They commit to diets, exercise plans, work plans, and all sorts of things that will ensure that their lives will be different and better on this new path forward. I haven’t done the research to find out just how effective those resolutions are, but I get the feeling that they’re not as effective as people wish that they were.
It seems that every year when I get to the end of it, I can always find a fair amount that I’d like to forget from that year. At the same time, there are plenty of things that I can recount with joy and gratitude. The last time I made a New Year’s resolution was probably 20 years ago, and I have no plans to make any for this year.
Sure, I’ve thought through the things that I want to do differently, the goals that I will set for myself, the things that I would like to achieve, but I try to take a good look at myself on a regular basis, not waiting until one day of the year that’s set aside for forgetting old acquaintances, at least according to the song. I’ve found that if I take long looks along the way it feels a little less painful than taking one giant look at the end of one year and the beginning of the next.
The beauty of the New Year is that it forces us to look ahead, to leave the past behind us, not without considering it, but definitely without dwelling upon it. It can help us to focus on grace, and in the case of those who believe in Jesus Christ, trust that that grace is sufficient and can help us to move ahead with boldness and confidence. Grace helps us to understand that we are not defined by our mistakes but we can accept forgiveness and move forward.
Like I said, I experienced some milestones in 2013, but I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go. I think the days of being sad to see years go got left behind with my 20’s. You come to a point in your life when you begin to simply appreciate what’s right in front of you and do your best to savor moments. Not that I’ve perfected it, but when life hands you experiences that help to gain perspective, it becomes a little bit easier to see things differently.
So, here’s to 2013, and here’s to 2014. May I find grace in knowing that the mistakes that I made this year can be passed over and forgiven and may I embrace that grace enough to know that I can move past them in the year ahead. As one of my friends says all the time, there will never be another 2014. So, I’m looking forward to it…thankful for that grace.