New Year’s Eve means many things to many people. It fosters a time for hope and reflection and provides us with the chance to start anew. I’ve never really been one for resolutions at New Years, because I feel that resolve doesn’t come from a day, but rather through an event or a series of events. The turn of the New Year in 2007 is a glaring example of this for me. I couldn’t see it through my own ignorance or apathy at the time, but I was given another chance at life. Many of you have heard or read my renewal witness talk or possibly were a part of it and know exactly what I am talking about. If not, I can tell you that 2007 marked a year of events that breed the very essence of resolve in me. I can’t imagine why I was chosen to follow the road I did or endure the circumstances that eventually put me at rock bottom, but I cherish them now. I cherish the thorns, the barren soil, and the dust that my tears dampened. Because if they weren’t there I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now. God worked through me and some of you in ways that I never thought possible and all praise to him for it. I only regret that I wasn’t able to see the “truth” earlier and protect my friends and family from the heartache and pain of knowing me then. I still have lingering regret for the arrogant, inpatient, and selfish person I was. I saw firsthand the pain that it caused and will probably never forgive myself for it, but have a strengthened resolve to never be that person again. Am I perfect? Wow, way far from it, but I have experienced God’s Grace and been overwhelmed by humility and know what it is to have a deep rooted change.
I’m guessing many of you have things that you want to change about your life this next year. They may be as simple as getting in shape or they may be as complex as revitalizing your faith. If you are looking to refresh your spirit I would encourage you to start with the following verse:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of the world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of the sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.
My Brothers and Sisters my opening paragraph was more than just background it was a plea. I pray that you never, ever find yourself in the position I was in three years ago. If you do, know that there is hope and there is an answer and you will find it if you look hard enough. I’m also guessing that each of you have daily internal struggles as do I. There is no easy road as a follower of Jesus Christ, but the reward at the end of the journey is so worth it. I will leave you with a couple of self reflection questions and my answers… think about yours…
What is missing in my life that I would want to take a step towards making better? This one is easy for me… TIME… Hopefully 2010 will give me the chance to spend more time with my Family and Friends and less time on work and waste.
If you were given something to do over what would it be?
I think I pretty much answered it through the caption above, but it would be strength of character or lack of coming into 2007. I have personally allowed this weakness to fill a void and create action.
How will you allow God to use you to do something beneficial in 2010?
I hope to continue to provide my humble thoughts on things I perceive and share them with my family in friends in the context of God’s love. I would like to be more of a witness and have more strength to be bold for Christ in the coming year and each year thereafter.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution?
Got Ya! I wanted to see if you were paying attention. Mine is not a resolution, but a continuation of a promise to those I love. I will try every day to live up to your expectations of me. I will try to be a good husband, good father, good friend, and good family member. I will remember my mistakes and allow them to fuel my resolve that much more. I will give you all the best that I have to offer and hopefully in some small way, make a difference in your life through Christ who gives me the strength to do so.
God Bless you all and may you all have an awesome New Year! Bring on 2010 and all the good things that we will experience!