I am a complete sucker for a fresh start. The new year is like manna from heaven.
I’m overwhelmed with list-making and dream-seeking and soul-searching . Hope swells and washes the memory of past failures clean.
I couldn’t care less that I’ve made this list 20 times before and didn’t follow through with it.
As a matter of fact, this tendency toward renewal and resolution wasn’t even our idea.
We borrowed it from our Father who promised new mercies every morning and fresh starts ‘seventy times seven’ times.
I completely believe deep down in my heart that this year will be different. You couldn’t convince me otherwise if your life depended on it.
But isn’t part of the reward of our new years’ lists the longing and the planning and hope beyond all hope that this year surely things can be different?
The gift is there already, in the courage to believe. And when I fail, I fall hard into the hands of Grace. There’s no downside—only endless expectation as we ‘groan inwardly’ and ‘wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
And even if you don’t buy into my abiding optimism, what’s the worst that can happen.
What if I don’t keep my resolution to read 42 books this year? What if I’m a complete failure and only read 30?
And what if I set out to run a marathon and only manage to run a 10K? Or what if I still don’t make those bagels?
Here’s why it doesn’t matter.
God has given me everything I could possibly need in His son. I am forgiven and blessed with the every good gift from the Father.
The rest is icing on the cake.
But this liturgy of life—the rising and setting of the sun, the coming of another new year—was never meant to be hum drum routine.
It is life-giving ritual and rhythm. And I hope I never tire of it because it’s the stuff life is made of and it’s pure gift from our Father.
I hope that despite many my frailties and failures I always approach this newness with anticipation and joy.
It’s gonna be a great year. Revolutionary even. I just know it.
Just for fun, here’s my very unorthodox observations and a peek at my list:
First of all, it’s two thousand twelve. I don’t think I need to say more but I will. The year of the Apocalypse, or so some claim. I doubt it but even if the world comes to an end, that’s good because our resolutions will be null and void and we’ll be in heaven. Here’s why it’s gonna be a good year.
1. It’s an even year. All even years are the best. Stevie and I were both born in even years as were all my kids. We were married in an even year and I graduated from college and med school in even years. Need more proof? Johnny Cash released ‘Folsom Prison’ in 1968 which was the same year ‘Stand by Your Man’ was released as a single. I rest my case.
2. It’s 2012. 12 is a very cool number in scripture. There were 12 sons of Jacob, 12 plagues, 12 tribes of Isreal, and 12 apostles. 12 is 3×4. 3 signifies the trinity or divine perfection and 4 signifies the creative works of God, especially as related to earth. 12’s gonna be a good year. Apocalypse or not.
3. It’s gonna be a ‘flowering’ year. As I’m sure you can relate, some years are for roots and foundations. Those are the years that you have new babies or you move or start new jobs or your house burns down. Those years are hard to measure in terms of resolution progress. But they’re no less important. In fact, the rooting years are probably the most important of all. But they’re usually the ones that you’re glad to have behind you. I’m pretty sure we’re due a ‘flowering’ year here at the Wadsworths. I could be wrong but I see big huge hydrangea blooms in our future
4. I’m convinced it’s gonna be a great year because I’m currently undefeated in Scrabble. ANDDDD……on New Year’s Eve at approximately 11:57, I scored a 94 (or was it 99?) point word to clench the title of reigning Scrabble champion. And that’s not all. The word was AVENUES. See what I mean?
So my advice?
Make resolutions with reckless abandon. Kick it up a notch and call them reVolutions. (thank you Katherine!)
And show two thousand twelve what you’re made of.
Here’s my list, brought to you by Picnik and my very optimistic New Year’s self. I chose 12 because I like number games and 42 because I’m almost 42.
Did you make a list? I think you should.