There’s something magical about a new year in our culture. After 365 days pass, the clock strikes midnight on December 31st and *wham*—you have a Cinderella moment as you are instantly motivated to become a better version of yourself: the version who works out and eats right, who is kind to people who cut you off in traffic, who reads more books and learns more skills and is all around smarter and faster and stronger. And less stressed.
Just kidding…I don’t really think any of that happens.
And if it did, I missed out on the magic because I kicked off the New Year flying high, 30,000 feet above the world, with a fever and the flu. I then spent the next few days in bed. I missed my first day of work in 2017 because I was home sick watching Netflix.
So…that’s not really magical. In fact, it was quite anticlimactic.
I’m not really a resolution maker, which I have mentioned before. I have goals, and I periodically assess those goals and what I’m doing to reach them. But, I don’t base my goal-making around a calendar year. That’s far too much pressure to put on the 24 hour segment of life we have deemed “January 1st”.
Because sometimes, you get the flu.
And sometimes, it feels like the rest of the runners took off without you while you’re stuck at the starting line. They got a head start, and that means you are now behind.
So, where does that leave us? Better luck next year…?
I’ve been working through this feeling for the past two weeks. The feeling that I’m still stuck at the starting line while everybody else is off to the races. The feeling that I’m the turtle surrounded by rabbits. Everybody is at peak motivation and I’m here, missing events while trying to get as much rest as I can.
I have stuff to do and dreams to accomplish, but my body and my voice and my energy level didn’t get the January 1st memo.
Thank goodness God makes his mercies new every morning and not just on the morning of January 1st.
What does this “new mercy” business mean for us, then? The people who have already fallen off the bandwagon, the people who are barely hanging on, or, like me, the people who missed the bandwagon’s departure time entirely?
It means we get the chance to begin again. And again. And again. Regardless of the date on the calendar or the time on the clock, we can choose to let our minds be renewed right here. Right now.
We can still become the person God is molding us to be…we don’t have to wait until next year.
I don’t know about you, but that seems like real magic to me.
Whatever has happened these past two weeks, it’s okay. And if you read this in four months, it’s still okay. Seven months? Still, it’s okay. Make your new year start right now, right where you’re at, and let’s all witness the magic that happens when we set our minds towards becoming the best version of ourselves.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22-23