G. K. Chesterton once said, “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose, new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.”1
The New Year is already here and I am still contemplating what my resolution should be. I am not overweight and I get enough exercise, so those won’t do for me.
I was actually thinking more along the lines of a spiritual goal or some personality traits that I could try to strengthen, some way to become a better person.
I watched an online video outlining several factors that are key to living an active, healthy life. One of the points was to compare the effects of sitting for long hours to the effects of smoking.
This issue got me thinking seriously about my daily schedule. Because of my work and online studies, I have to sit at a desk for long periods of time. I wanted to change that, so I decided to set a goal to lessen my sedentary hours.
The Bible has a lot to say about the power of what we say. One of my favorite verses is “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”1 Obviously, the Bible was written before the current era of social media and messenger apps, so it’s silent about the potential to either help or hurt when I use my fingers to tap out messages. I recently had an experience that taught me that the biblical warnings about the tongue should guide me to text with equal prayerfulness and prudence.
Here’s a great verse: “The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy.”1
I have years of Bible study and learning under my belt, but I’m not sure I’ve heard this verse before. At least, its meaning has always slipped past me.
In spite of every indication that there are difficult times ahead, I’m excited about this new year! I’m enthusiastic about striving for new goals and pushing myself beyond what I think I’m capable of. The noun “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word enthousiasmos, from enthous, meaning “possessed by a god, inspired.” And interestingly, it was originally used in a derogatory sense to describe excessive religious zeal.
December is by far my busiest month of the year. The days are filled with organizing events, recycling toys to give to needy kids, buying gifts, decorating the house, and planning Christmas get-togethers and Christmas Eve dinner. Then there’s New Year’s celebration to ring out the old and ring in the new.
As the Hallmark movie channel announced 40 new Christmas movies for their 2019 schedule, it occurred to me that few events get the expectation and hype that Christmas does. Christmas has come to represent the culmination of the year in an extended season of beauty, feasting, generosity, friendship, and joy. We plan for traditions to be repeated, bringing all the perfection of Christmases past into today’s edition.