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
But how do we renew our soul? Some people find answers in therapy or personal coaching or the latest self-help book. Several of my friends have gone on a pilgrimage. Any of these may be helpful. But maybe it can be as simple as this: God, “in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind,”2 “restores my soul.”3
We can’t physically become another person, but we can have a new disposition, a new awareness, and a renewed consciousness.
In past years, I made many resolutions to change specific areas of my life and replace old habits with new ones, and I was moderately successful.
This year, my prayer is that God would renew me with His Spirit and love and give me new outlooks and perspectives to face the unknown ahead.
Even though the start of a new year can bring expectancy and adventure, in many cases there is also trepidation: Will I reach my goals? Will I enjoy good health in the months and years to come? Will I have economic stability?
The New Year is the perfect moment to place these concerns—along with our wishes and expectations—in God’s hands, letting go of our fears and worries. I want to enter this new year with a new soul and renewed faith, putting my life and the lives of my loved ones in God’s hands, asking Him to guide and keep my steps.
A Simple Prayer
For this new year, dear Lord,
I don’t ask that You award
Me with wealth or stock or cash,
Or that I will with fortune be awash,
For all that will turn to ash.
Keep me from my selfish ways.
Help me not to disobey
Your eternal Word of truth
That You taught me from my youth.
Be with me, my fears to soothe.
I ask to walk close to Thee,
In Your presence filled with glee.
Lead me in the way of love.
Help me not to push and shove,
To be gentle like a dove.
Be my light, be my delight
Keep me for You shining bright
May I live to intercede,
So that folks that are in need
May find You and be freed.
True pure riches I will find
Loving You and being kind.
Those things will bring me cheer,
They will make my pathway clear
And a very fruitful year.
—Gabriel García Valdivieso
1. A Chesterton calendar, 1976
2. Job 12:10
3. Psalm 23:3