WORDS BY TAYLOR MAY
Time reminds us that we are human. It comes and goes without asking permission. It is the delicate system that relentlessly and intricately measures our humanness. It reminds us that we’re tired, that we can’t go on forever. It reminds us that we’re different now, that we’ve moved on (at least a bit) from where we were before. It reminds us with a constant fervor that we’re temporary, that our skin shrivels and our hair grays. At the end of it all we will still be just as human as we were at the start.
It’s human of us, too, to want to be better. As the first of January rolls around diets begin, memberships are bought, hair is dyed, and shelved dreams shake off their dust. It’s that New Year’s inclination to start over, to turn back time and press reset. Even if resolutions aren’t your thing, it’s difficult not to feel the buoyant hope that comes with the start of another year. It’s a brand new chance to start again. If the passing year went awry, then we can gladly bid it farewell. And if it was a good year, we can smile at what we’ve made and start again.
With the turning of a new year we trade our normal humanness for New Year’s induced invincibility. Whatever held us back in the past is lost in the abysmal hope of clinking glasses, silly hats, and fireworks. When the clock strikes midnight, we have every opportunity to do what we’ve always intended to do and become who we always intended to be. But we forget that it’s still a day like any other, that we’re still human, and that what ailed us in 2017, will most likely continue to ail us in 2018.
Life is abrupt and isn’t always politely planned out. Many times, the things we resolved to do and the people we resolved to become get lost in the whim of life. There’s always next year, some will say. Shame was never meant to follow resolution, but it so often finds its way. When you’ve had a hard day and reach for a box of cookies, guilt creeps in. When you feel anxious and reach for the cigarette, the phone, the credit card, whatever steadies your hand, failure’s taunts linger. The statistical knowledge of wavering resolutions is no surprise to anyone. We suspect, even as we write with the firmest and fiercest grip, that some of the resolutions we are jotting down won’t amount to much.
But what if we looked at it a different way, as a day to celebrate how perfectly new we are, and how perfectly new we will be tomorrow? Let each resolution be a reminder that our God is a God who is far more able than we are, and he is gracious enough to gives us endless opportunities to realize the price He’s paid to make us perfect. Not only is 2018 a new year, but January 1, 2018 is a new day. Just the same as every day.
His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), and while our human strife to be all that we can be is one of the better things about us, we will never be better than the best we are in the eyes of our Good Father. Hebrews 10:10 says that we have been sanctified, once and for all. This is true today and it is true on New Year’s Day. This amazing truth stretches on for all eternity. To be resolute means to be unwavering, firm, rooted. God calls us to be just that: rooted and established in him, relying on his perfect strength and not our own. By his grace alone we are able, each and every day to accomplish the tasks set before us. Every failure is a reminder of grace and a chance to start again.
I’m thankful for time and how it let’s me look back at it. I can catalog and categorize life’s many seasons with a dash between two years. There was the year I had my first job, the year I got a nose ring, the year I started college, the year I was broken and rebuilt. Time is sweet that way, that though it passes, it always leaves you with a little reminder of where you’ve been. With each new year I remember the things I did, the things I didn’t do. A lot has happened this year, and a lot will happen next. Through every trial and failure, I resolve to remember all that God is, to remember his grace in even the little things, and especially the big things, to remain rooted and established in him.
Whatever you resolve to do or be on the first day of 2018, know that your God is entirely capable of making it so, and know that if you slip, if you forget and mess up, that you still have tomorrow, and every day after that, to be made brand new.