Happy New Year.
We made it to 2015, kids.
There’s nothing quite as intoxicating as striding with confidence into the next new thing: a new job, a new relationship, a new diet, a new hair stylist, a new home, etc. We love babies in part because of their freshness and purity; they are the dictionary definition of new. We love the giddiness we feel in seeing the cute new boy in class/work/anywhere because he looks like mystery, possibility… a second chance. If you’re like me and staying still makes you scream, we love to go new places and see new things.
Perhaps the most appealing of all is the idea of not just new things, but a new “us”.
December 31st of (insert any year here) is the night of reinvention for many of us. A time to pause and reflect on how excellent the past year was, and how we are #blessed and how we hope to succeed in the new year. I don’t think the stream of valenica filtered paleo-vegan-gluten free food shots is a coincidence–it’s the new year.
And why not? After all it’s a new year. You owe it to yourself. You really can be all that you want to be–if you only put in the work for it. And you will. You will be sexier and more well read and well traveled and equally yoked and self respecting in this new year and the haters can’t tell you anything.
Until it’s January 2nd. Or 7th. Or whenever. And we realize we didn’t go to the gym. We meant to save money, but we forgot to pack our lunch for work and now we’re spending $8.38 on subpar food and a smoothie because it’s the closest available where we work. We’ll draw the lines in this toxic relationship… after one more text. (After all, they don’t even fully understand where we’re coming from! We can’t end something without having the last word). Before we know it, it’s Valentine’s Day and we have nothing to show for ourselves but some good old self depreciation masking our clear shame at failing to meet all 17 of our goals to read Tolstoy and ride the unicycle or just wake up earlier in the day and not be lazy bums.
Honestly, I couldn’t do it this year.
I wrote a bit last year on how I feel like new years resolutions can be really shallow and self serving, and while I still hold to that being (mostly) true, I want to encourage you all with this precious gem of a reality:
You’re still the person you were last year. Good and bad, strengths and weaknesses, they all traveled with you, even when you crossed that magical line into 2015. But guess what? You’re not restricted to just one annual chance to try, try again. There are 24 hours in a day–that’s 1,440 minutes (or 86,400 seconds). Last year was like that too–in fact, every year is like that. But it’s good news because it means that you have about 1,440 chances a day to turn things around and get back on track and push your way towards who you want to be and what you want to do. 525,600 minutes per year to start over. Isn’t that great? I feel like that’s the best present I could ever ask for.
Further than that, if you’re in God’s family, then congratulations! You are actually constantly in the process of being made new because His Spirit is living inside you! He’s cleaning house and shuffling things around and changing your priorities if you’ve given Him leave to do so, and that’s the most lasting change with the greatest return.
We are already new.
We are constantly given newness.
It is ours.
All we have to do is reach out and take what’s in front of us, and allow Jesus to do His thing.
I receive this.
I’m holding onto this.
I hope you will too.
(And the gym will always be there, guys. You can always so back whenever and I won’t even judge you because I probably won’t roll in until like mid March and no one will even care because it’s not even that serious.)