As we stand on the cusp of 2020, we wonder what the future holds, for us and our world. One thing is sure, it will be better with God by our side. This issue explores keys to making this year a fulfilling and happy one.
I recently read an anecdote about a teacher who took her primary school students to the assembly hall to attend a presentation. As they waited at the foot of the steps leading up to the stage, she asked, “Is anybody good at jumping?”
Quite a few young hands shot up.
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.
There’s something special about the beginning of a new year. Even though January 1st follows December 31st the same as any day follows the previous one, to many of us, entering a new year brings with it the feeling of a new beginning, a fresh start. Last year is now behind us, and there are new horizons ahead.
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.
Our future isn’t limited by our past. No matter what point we’re at now, the future is still as bright as God’s promises.
If you’re not where you want to be, there’s time to change that. It’s human nature to look back and have regrets about some of the things you did, or to wish you’d done things differently. God understands that and sympathizes. But don’t overlook the good that also came from those experiences—the wisdom, maturity, and lessons learned, which have helped to shape your character and prepare you for better things to come.
There are some things I’m good at: I can clean, organize, delegate, and plan like a boss. I can cook well enough to get paid to do it, and I can write pretty well. But I have one skill that I haven’t yet figured out how to market, and when I do, I’m fairly certain it will make me rich. I can worry with such skill and creativity that I’m convinced it’s worth something!
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.
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.