Saturday, December 31, 2005

DARE WE MAKE A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION?

While the Gregorian calendar is as relative--perhaps even as arbitrary--as any other culture's marking of the year, it is this culture's measure of time and history. And while some want to minimize the significance of a New Year's celebration for making new beginnings ("I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions," they quip dismissively), I say why not take it as an opportunity to comprehend the power of grace to reshape our lives--in a moment, in a day, or from one point in time ever after?

WE BELIEVE IN FRESH STARTS. If any persons, communities or cultures believe in new beginnings, Christians do. In terms those of you who have read or viewed "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" would understand, we believe in Christmas. But we believe that newness and fresh starts are not so much a matter of will power (or, as Richard Foster puts it, "will worship") as they are a willful yielding to the grace of God to reshape our lives from the inside out and from the personal to the relational to the structural.

READY, SET... So, in this vein, go ahead, make a resolution. Dig deep for something significant. Dare to let go of failures. Release resentments. Forgive hurts. Dry up petty hatreds and prejudices. Recalibrate your attitude. Reset your values. Rework your schedule. Gather your courage. Welcome the New Year. And then make room in your heart and life to depend on God in this overcoming challenge.

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