The year is closed, the record made,
The last deed done, the last word said.
The memory remains
Of all its joys, its griefs, its gains.
And now with purpose full and clear,
We turn to meet another year.
Another year provides us with an exciting opportunity to make a fresh start. To begin again. To set new goals. To redefine our priorities. To reevaluate our values. And to refocus our purpose in life.
Another year, of course, brings with it so many unknowns. We had big plans for 2020. Who could have foreseen everything shut down due to a worldwide pandemic?
When we turned the calendar this time last year to 2021, we thought everything would soon return to normal. But, here we are. Still talking about a virus that has turned everything upside down. Affected everyone’s life. And impacted the ministry of every preacher, pastor, and church.
So, now we come to another year. What will it bring?
Another year will likely be a mixture, as Browning expressed it, of joys, griefs, and gains. While we make plans, set goals, and seek to move forward, no one knows what problems, challenges, and obstacles lie ahead. Nor do we know what unexpected pleasures, successes, and serendipities await us.
As we begin another year, one thing, however, is certain. We each have within us the power of choice. We can choose the attitude with which we face every circumstance, whether favorable or unfavorable. Psychologist and author, Dr. J. Martin Kohe, did not overstate the case when he wrote, “The greatest power a person possesses is his power to choose.
It’s another year to choose the people with whom we associate. The way we spend our money. What habits we develop. How we manage our time. The books we read. The music we listen to. The food we eat. The words we say. The attitudes we display. The deeds we do. The lifestyle we pursue. And the Master we choose to serve.
Another year provides us an opportunity to….
…Reestablish our course in life.
…Revitalize buried dreams.
…Repair ruptured relationships.
…Renew our commitments.
…Revive our spiritual longings.
…Restore our heavenly vision.
…Return to the Lord.
…Reinforce our Biblical values.
Another year challenges us to become what we’re created to be. A new person conformed to the image of Christ. George Eliot was right when he wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
Another year, of course, offers the same certainty as in years past. God’s grace, love, and mercy will remain constant and limitless. Jesus Christ will continue to rule and reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords. The Holy Spirit will intercede for us in prayer and offer us an incentive to holiness through His indwelling.
Another year is a chance for us to choose…
…Christ over culture.
…Truth instead of tradition.
…Spirituality not religiosity.
…Faith over fear.
…Hope rather than doubt.
…Love instead of hate.
Another year. Another chance to get it right. Will it be a new verse? A new chapter? A new book? Or just the same old story of past years? The good news is that we each get to be the author of our own narrative. However, if we allow someone else to write it, we may not like the ending.
Happy New Year! Welcome to another year.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman