Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A Clean Slate - A Fresh Start - A New Beginning

New Year's Day may be one of my favorite days of the entire year. There is something wonderful about knowing that a whole new year has dawned. I love fresh starts and new beginnings. Each new year begins with my making a mental list of things I want to change in my life:

1) I want to commit to going to the gym 4 times a week.

2) I want to commit to a year of counting points on Weight Watchers.

3) I want to start each day with Bible study and prayer, making more room for God.

4) I want to finally find "my place" in downtown Washington - that place where I regularly linger, study, write, and meet people instead of being in my office so much.

5) I want to write more - perhaps even commit to blogging 3 times a week and really take advantage of other opportunities to be published.

6) I want to say "no" to things that take life from me in order to make space for that which makes more of me.

The list could go on and on.

Every gym manager will tell you that today is the best day to have your sales team fully staffed. January will be crowded with people who have promised themselves that this year will be different while March will present many days without a single new member joining.

We are good at making promises to ourselves to live differently. We want to change.

There's a strong chance that I'll accomplish some of the things on my list this year. There's an even greater chance that I won't. But still, I get a clean slate. And so do you.

But this promise of a clean slate is one of the reasons I need God - not just on New Year's Day but on every day. The promises of scripture remind me time and again that I don't have to wait for a fresh start or a clean slate to come just once a year. A new beginning can be offered to me every single day and sometimes several times during the day. A fresh start is mine for the asking. My slate is wiped clean each time I return to God.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" We can all be made new.

1 John 1:9 reads, "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Sounds like a clean slate to me.

In Acts 3:19 it is written, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Yes, I'll take a fresh start.

Thank you, God, for the gift of a new year. Thank you for fresh starts, clean slates, new beginnings. May we stay close to you throughout this year. Help us to make wise decisions and give us strength to be faithful stewards of our bodies, our minds, our time, our talent and our resources. And when we fall short, remind us that every day is a new beginning. You are a God who is constantly making all things new. Thank you, God! Amen.

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Susann said...

I want to help with #4-- or at least introduce you to the Arboretum. It may not fulfill your "meet new people" element, and you may have to wear a coat on cold days, but otherwise, it is my favorite peaceful place in DC.