As 2011 draws to a close, many of us are thinking about the approaching year in terms of how do we make 2012 better than 2011. Most of us have experienced many challenges and obstacles in the current year that we don’t want to take into the new year.
Say amen if you agree with me.
But if we’re to be totally honest, 2011 wasn’t all bad. Every day wasn’t a bad day. And there were some happy moments mingled in with those not so happy moments that stand out in our minds. For just as many things that went wrong this year, there were probably also somethings that went right.
I think a better way for us to approach the coming year, is not in declaring and making another new year’s resolution about making one year better than another. Lets face it, most of those resolutions will be discarded January 2nd and forgotten altogether before the end of the first week.
But perhaps a better way to approach the coming year is to to recognize, review, and recycle.
Recognize that the person most responsible for your life is you.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. (Psalm 51:3-4a)
Instead of looking to our right or our left, and pointing a finger at someone else, its a better use of our time to look within ourselves. By doing this we can recognize those things and areas in our lives that we need to take responsibility for. A new year, starts with a new look at you.
Review the past year.
Review the past for me,
let us argue the matter together; (Isaiah 43:26)
Its been said that we can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been. There’s a lot of truth in that. Reviewing the past helps us to avoid the same mistakes and pitfalls in our future. The hope of a new year isn’t just about starting over, but its about being able to start anew right where we are. And thats best accomplished by learning from where we’ve already been.
A popular trend in today’s culture is recycling. We recycle those things that have been discarded and disqualified from their original purposes. No longer seeing the value or use in them, we sometimes throw away things that still have life in them. Things that simply need a new use. Recycling these things not only gives them a new use, but a totally new purpose as well.
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. (1 Samuel 17:34-36)
Perhaps 2011 may not been the greatest of years for you. You’ve suffered one setback after another. Encountered more than your share of challenges, and more doors than you care to admit may have been closed in your face. And you’re hoping that 2012 will be just the new start you need.
Let me conclude this blog post with some good news.
The Greatest Recycler of all times is God. And just as He took an insignificant shepherd boy and made him a giant slayer and eventually king over His chosen people, He can also recycle the events and experiences of your life to add new meaning and purpose in your life.
As we close out 2011, my message to you is simple. Recognize God for who He is and allow Him to help you take responsibility for your life. Review all He has already done for you and allow Him to help you learn from your past. And allow Him to Recycle your life to bring you new meaning and purpose.
What a great way to start a new year, a new you.
Happy New Year Everyone!