New Year! New You?
Below is an article to help you think about the pressures of new year. You may also be interested in this sermon by Will Van Der Hart asking who we are 'following' this year:
You see them everywhere this time of year, don't you?
-- "New Year, New Body"
-- "Change yourself - change your life"
-- "Spring Clean! De-Clutter for the New Year"
A new year is loaded with expectation, hope - and sometimes fear.
It can be tempting to pin our hopes on the clock striking midnight and a new year beginning. For many years I did just that, only to crash come the 5th of January when I realised that the date may have changed, but my life hadn't.
I put so much pressure on myself and the new year that things would change - I thought the change of the date would mean that I'd get better - even though my situation, my illness, my attitude - none of it had changed. And I was sent reeling all over again when faced once again with what I'd tried to leave behind in the year that had passed.
And herein lies the problem, for the dawn of a new year can bring in a new era, and a new chance for change and hope. But at the same time, the world doesn't reach perfection on the stroke of midnight on the 31st of December.
There has to be a way by which we hold onto the hope and expectation a new year can bring -without expecting change in life just because numbers on the clock change.
So this new year, perhaps it would be a good idea, to focus on a timeless hope. One that existed before the calendar began. The hope which may not mean a magic wand is waved - but does mean that we have a God who redeems and restores.
We wish you the happiest of New Years, filled with hope and life.
And so I echo the prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr for us all this year: "God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I can't change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
This article was first published at www.thinktwiceinfo.org