Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zamboni (No, wait, that's a hockey thing. Sorry! Couldn't resist. I like that commercial.)
I am going to sound a little like President Kennedy now, and I will take it as a compliment if you agree. No, I'm not going to call anyone a jelly doughnut. Instead I will ask you to remember when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
We've gotten away from that mentality, unfortunately. We have become a nation of people who want everything given to them. We have become a nation of people disinterested in work. We glorify those who rise to the top quickly.
We want to lose weight, but we want to do it by taking a pill - not by creating a lifestyle of exercising and eating right.
We want to make millions of dollars, but we want to do it by winning it.
We want to believe and spread everything that people post on Facebook instead of looking it up to check its validity.
We want to work fewer hours and be paid more for it. Or not work at all (and still be paid).
There's something to be said for efficiency. No need to invent a wheel, if it has already been done. But if no wheel exists, we need to work to create one. That second part gets lost all too often.
What does this have to do with the New Year?
I am already tired of hearing things like, "It's a new year! Everything is going to be different now."
No, nothing will be different unless we do things differently.
Remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results.
If you want a different year this year, you will have to do something different from what you did last year.
Now, this is not always the case. There is only one thing I really wish I could change about last year, and that would be my daughter's development of type 1 diabetes. However, since that disease hit us out of nowhere - there's no known cause of T1D, and it does not run in our families - there's nothing we can do differently to prevent something like that from happening this year.
But I'm not talking about the disease diagnoses. I'm not talking about the terrible accidents or weather-related disasters. I'm not talking about the things we can't control. I'm talking about the things we can control.
It's a new year! Will it bring you prosperity?
No! The circumstance of the date changing from December 31st to January 1st has no more impact on your life than the date changing from September 15th to September 16th. (Even if that is your birthday. You have not aged one year, but rather one day.)
Every morning, the sun rises. Whether you see it bright and clear, or it hides behind the clouds, the sun always rises. At the end of the day, the sun will set. The time in between is given to you to DO SOMETHING, not wait for something. When the sun rises, it does not bring you a silver platter. It brings you an opportunity.
Last year may have been great for you. It may have been terrible. You may have had some control over it; you may not have. You may have made some poor choices about how you spent your time; you may have made some excellent ones.
I challenge you to look back at your previous 365 sunrises. First, look at the ones you considered good. What made them good? Did you complete an athletic goal? A weight loss goal? A health or professional goal? Did you spend time with your loved ones? Did you find yourself bathed in God's glory? Take note! If that is what you did that made last year good, DO IT AGAIN!
Next, look back at the things that may have ruined your year. Were they preventable? If not, you will just have to put those aside. There's nothing that can be done other than cope and move on. Into every life, a little rain must fall.
But what about that which was preventable? You may have to look deep to see whether or not there was anything you could do. For example, maybe you lament a deteriorating relationship with someone in your family. Perhaps that person could rightfully claim all the blame. But if YOU want a better relationship, YOU must work at making it better. (By the way, my advice there is to first clean the slate and forgive. Then build from there. But that's a different blog post.)
Were you sad about the condition your body or spirit is in? You feel you would be happier if you weighed less, stopped smoking, or went to church? Then… lose weight, stop smoking, or go to church!
I don't mean to sound like I am yelling at you. I need to make improvements myself. Why do I get tired all the time? Because I eat too much sugar. Solution? Eat less sugar. Why am I frustrated with my children so often? Because I need to work on starting fresh with them each day and not let it build up. So I will work on that.
And work it is. The consequence of the year changing from 2014 to 2015 will not give me more energy because I want that to happen. I need to make a pointed effort to resist the call of the ice cream.
You will also have to work for what you want. But anything worth having in your life is worth working for, right? (Except God's free grace. Talk to me about that, if you would like to know more.)
So, what will this new year bring to you? Nothing. But the question is, what will YOU bring to this new year?
Passion Under Grace,