Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Here we are at the first day of the New Year! Where has the past year gone to? The time seems to have flown by! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? What is on your list? How will 2018 be different from 2107? What are you going to change? Remember that whatever resolutions you make for the coming year to improve you physical well being, look at your spiritual life too. How does that need changing?
The fact that you are thinking about making New Year’s resolutions shows that you feel that there is something you could do to improve your life, yet change is not always easy to embrace. The very word can send shivers down your spine since it normally refers to new beginnings but it can be difficult for many people, certainly as we get older when many of the familiar things seem to have disappeared. Maybe we are looking back at the ‘good old days’ through ‘rose coloured glasses’ but the old familiar ‘comfort blanket’ is well, comfortable, and safe; why would anyone want to change it, to venture into the unknown. To take that step into the darkness requires patience, guidance and the freedom to let go of familiar things rather than gripping on to them more tightly. It is not easy but then Jesus realized that when He said: ‘ ‘strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matthew 7:14KJV) In making changes there is always the danger of throwing out that which is good and useful along with the bad and unhelpful; but then you are making New Year’s resolutions so you want to change. In any case, the alternative, carrying on in the old way, is not really making any progress at all, just continuing in the same old rut.
Yet whatever changes you make, it is important to hold on to the fact that in the midst of this turbulent, chaotic, ever-changing world there is one constant. Many years ago the prophet Isaiah said: ‘Therefore, thus says the Lord God: See, I am laying a stone in Zion, a stone that has been tested, a precious cornerstone as a sure foundation; he who puts his faith in it shall not be shaken.’ Isaiah 28:16. So take comfort that whatever the world throws at you, or whatever changes you choose to make in your own life, God is that cornerstone; that Anchor of hope, the one safe, firm foundation on which you must build your faith.
Before making any resolutions pray for God’s guidance, and then ask yourself two questions: what have I done for God in 2017 and what more can I do for Him in 2018?
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years