If it wasn’t the last day of the year, would we sit back and reflect on what the past was? Would we find some reason to run through the last twelve months in our minds, replaying moments of laughter and tears, gatherings and separations, the old and the new?
I think it’s because we know it’s the last day of the year that we find the need to reflect. The desire to look back. The calling from the depths of our minds to lay to rest those things which we’ve been harboring, or to bring to life those things we’ve neglected. I think it’s our excuse, in a way, to force ourselves to look at more than just “today”. At more than just “now”.
I also think we want the clean slate. The new start. Be it our finances, our homes, our jobs, our weight, we ultimately want to wipe the board clean and start fresh. New.
There is both a relief and a danger which lies here. The beauty is that a new year can be the opportunity to have new goals. The beginning without sight of the end. The danger is that we can run into this night trying to push back the past, ignore it, repress it, and ultimately begin our new year carrying the tiny seeds which will soon sprout into weeds choking out our hopes at the “New Year”.
Many of us will toast at midnight. Many of us will be so heavily intoxicated that we may not remember the New Year at all. Or very little of it. I find it interesting that New Year’s is a holiday that is directly associated to parties and drinks. The day we say good bye to the year is the same day we are tempted to fall deeply into an altered state. Is this a coincidence? Or is this the silent cries of the broken?
A reoccurring thought that has been brought forth in my mind the last two weeks is that the world is full of broken people. I am one of them. In some way, each of us are one of them. The circumstances and degrees will vary. The reasons are as many and as different as the snow flakes of a blizzard. I too have found myself craving this New Year. Craving to use it as my way to have the starting point to “succeed” in my personal goal. Deep deep down, in the depths of my own broken soul, I also use it as a breath of fresh air. A breath to say “I will not allow these things inside which hurt me to hurt me in the New Year”.
The truth is that a New Year will not make this magical change. The changing on the calendar from 2011 to 2012 will not erase any pains, wipe away any tears. It will not make us successful in our goals. It will not bring back lost loved ones. It will not be the cause of a marriage succeeding or failing. The changing of the calendar will simply be nothing more or nothing less than that.
The change, the true change, is far more powerful and far reaching than the digit in a year. There are many blogs of self help, life coaching, advice pages and columns that will direct you as to how to achieve this true change. How to be a more powerful and successful you. My belief, what I know is true, is that this change comes from the eternal. From Christ. From God. It’s not a good bye, it’s a hello. It’s not an ending, it’s a beginning with no end. It’s a relationship. It’s grace. It’s the covering of love, mercy, forgiveness, and it’s power. Power to overcome, to survive, to be rid of the weeds and produce sweet, delicious, and nutritious fruit.
My prayer for everyone is that they do not hold onto something which is secretly eating at them from within. That they don’t find themselves running into 2012 with chains from 2011 clashing behind them, holding onto them, and cutting into them. My prayer is that these broken people will be healed, will allow themselves to be bathed in His love, and will find themselves finding one another, in fellowship, in love, that we will uplift one another. That we will see past the minute, the hour, the day, and the year, into something more. Into something beautiful.
I wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday. I myself am blessed to share this holiday with a husband whom I know the Lord brought purposefully into my life. With my son, whom is here only because of my faith in the Lord and His mercy and power over me. With new friends whose hearts are so warm and whom I have come to very quickly adore. There are so many many more whom are not here with me physically, yet I love them. I adore them.
And as we say goodbye to 2011, as we move into this New Year of 2012, I pray we find that which is more powerful. That eternal hope and light which will carry us past the New Year. That will carry us forever.
“And now these three remain, Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV 1984).