Colorful graphics and “Happy New Year” written in fancy fonts, crossed my social media. TV and radio announcers echoed the greeting with hopes that the year would hold health and good things for all. Store clerks, even though not excited about working on January 1, politely wished customers a “Happy New Year.”
Happy: a word that conveys pleasure often accompanied by smiles and laughter.
New: refers to a first time, recently discovered, or fresh.
Year: earth’s one revolution around the sun.
Each new year presents an opportunity to look back and review the past one. If you keep a journal, have you re-read your 2022 entries? Memory fails us, so if you’re like me, seeing written prayers, the description of an experience, or notes about a quote, devotion, or Bible verse gives me pause to remember why I recorded my thoughts.
If you have a calendar, review days where you marked appointments, plans and meetings that were significant. Do you recall how you lived the day unmarked? Was it restful, boring, lonely? A time to catch up? It’s good to review to be reminded that every day:
Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36:5 NIV)
Our fresh year is also an opportunity to revisit. What was good and not so good? What do you wish you did more of and less of? What did you learn as you revisited?
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12 NIV)
With an opportunity for firsts, we can look forward and refocus. Rather than a “To Do” list or resolutions that often leave us defeated and frustrated, can we plan with God? We can re-enter with prayer and reading the Word to find direction. What do I see as God’s priorities, purposes, and plans for me? How is He leading and directing me?
Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105 NIV)
Those “not so good” and “do less of” answers? Lack of clarity or direction? Perhaps you can use time today to sit back to renew.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
A meditation I use morning and evening is Lectio 365. This convenient Bible app offers an audio and printed format. One of the first statements is an appeal to be ready to listen and “recenter my scattered senses.” Re-center: an opportunity in the coming year to draw away from distractions and draw in to focus on what God has to say to us
In Psalm 1 and the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and Luke 6, the word “blessed” means “happy.” Can that three-word cliché, “Happy New Year,” take on new meaning for us? How are you approaching a “Happy New Year”? Will you plan to review, revisit, refocus, renew, and re-center? Perhaps you will find a verse or theme to serve as a guiding principle this year. We can make the new year more than a greeting, but one that is blessed and fresh. Share your thoughts with us.