The New Year — Replacement Value


As I’ve closed out one year and opened another I mentally go back and forth, looking over the year past and anticipating the new year. It’s like finishing up a package of a product when I have a replacement on hand. As long as there is no new package I make the present one last longer. When a replace­ment is available I’m ready to finish the old and get into the new, knowing it’s not the end of the product. I don’t have to be stingy; I have more.

I realize my days are numbered with no promise of another day, much less another year. But I plan each day on assump­tions of time and grace available for the future, whatever allotment that may be. Now that the new year has begun and I’ve used up the old year, I’m ready (really?) for what happens in the new year, to make the best use of it for Godʼs glory.

As I look back it’s been a good year, with joys and disappointments, lessons learned and re-learned, accomplishments and failures, goodbyes and welcomes, even with sins revealed and forgiven, many a glaring ‟ought toˮ and not as many a promised ‟next time.ˮ I’ve seen others in new light – my husband’s thankful spirit oft expressed; my family’s love and tolerance for parents, siblings and children; my friendsʼ encouragement through some rough times and acceptance when I’m in the wrong; the change in church due to our move.

I see new challenges ahead for the coming year – for myself and our family. I pray that I keep my focus on the eternal and my priorities well-balanced. Goals must be suited to time and abili­ties.

Personal commitments and goals will only be realized as I seek to walk each day with Jesus, redeeming the time, wisely using a schedule for tasks, making myself accountable to God and others. Family and other commitments could get reshuffled according to othersʼ schedules, but I can keep my priorities in line and adjust to others’ needs. ‟Being availableˮ remains my job description as I allow God to order my days, even if that simply means to stop what I’m doing to prepare lunch when Bill is ready.

Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson’s comic characters, reflected once on the new year. Hobbes asked Calvin, ‟Are you making any resolutions for the new year?ˮ To which Calvin responded, ‟Yeah, I’m resolving just to wing it and see what happens.ˮ Hobbes replied with sarcasm, ‟So you’re staying the course?ˮ Calvin concluded, ‟I stick to my strengths.ˮ Yes, resolutions will turn into accomplishments when I stick to my strengths.

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I love the Lord. To those I love I am wife, mother, granny, great-granny. To my corner of the world I am a writer.

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