With January comes the beginning of a new year — a time to reflect on what has been done and what has not been done over the previous year.
We have come to view January as the signal that something is beginning. We are full of hope and anticipation for what this new beginning can offer — resolutions for change.
But sadly, by March or April, we will discover that a lot of the “new” we expected was just wishful thinking.
Oh, we had plans, such as taking inches off our waistlines, exercising more, learning new and amazing skill sets, finishing the book we are reading or the song/novel/play/memoirs/computer software/curriculum we are writing, cleaning the garage and landscaping the yard.
We will occasionally find a little success, but for the most part, the new wears off, the new ways wane, the exciting becomes mundane, and the dreams and visions simply become something else to do. And we are tired, so tired, of just doing.
So, what’s a weary “do-er” to do? Well, our doing comes out of what we think — what we think about ourselves, what we think about others and what we think about life in general. And much of our thought comes from how we see things — our perspective.
If we could see every new day as offering God’s way, see the opportunities He puts before us, then see ourselves doing these things in His strength, we could actually see results.
God told Abraham in Genesis to lift up his eyes from the place where he was and see the land around him. God said, “All the land which you see, I will give it to you.” Abraham had to see with eyes of hope and faith. He could have seen with eyes of doubt. After all, Lot had chosen all the good land. He could have felt a victim of Lot’s choices — much like many of us feel we are the victims of our circumstances.
Change is halted in its early beginnings with, “I can’t because my kids, my relatives, my busy schedule, my energy level, my finances, my past failures.” But, like Abraham, we need to lift up our eyes from the place where we are.
Maybe last year’s list of things held us back in the past, but today is a new day. God is speaking, showing, directing, explaining the new way. Are we looking? Are we listening?
When we see Jesus as The Way, how do we see that? Is that just a different method to go through the motions, or a different list of things to do? No! Jesus as The Way, means a whole new path. The starting place is different. The direction is different. The motives, tools, attitudes and perspective are different.
We are not just doing the same old thing with a little help. God is doing a new thing in us and taking us in a totally different direction from where our mind and reasoning skills can take us.
The landscape is different, the view is different, our strength is renewed and restored, and the whole journey is triumphal.
God takes us outside of our self-imposed limitations to a place we may have never even considered as a possibility and says to us, “What can you see yourself doing, being, having, creating and designing? What do you see for your life, your future? What you can see in your spirit is what I will give you.”
What an awesome promise!
This promise is available to all who will believe and declare Him as Lord.
Christ came to extend to everyone the love of God, a place in His family and all the blessings that come with that place.
So, the only way to possess a successful new year is to celebrate The Way, The Truth and The Life, which is found in Jesus Christ.
May each of you receive The Way (our Redeemer) to a new beginning.
And may you all have a prosperous, healthy and successful new year.
The Rev. BILLY R. SANDERS is senior pastor of North Pointe Church in Copperas Cove.