New Year Renewal

2020 day planner

As we settle into the new year, many of us have high hopes for the next twelve months. We make goals for exercise routines, career advancements, water consumption, home organization… you name it, we declare it. Gym populations swell in January, and we are inundated with advertising for every kid of health and organizational product.

I am one who will geek out over a new day planner by spending hours poring over the crisp, clean pages of what could be. When I got a new car, I loved that “new car” scent. I promised myself I would keep it pristine.

Humans crave a blank slate – a chance to start fresh and forget our past mistakes and fumbles. We have an innate, God-given desire for renewal, for all things to be as they should. I think the human desire for renewal is one of the God-shaped holes in our souls that we try to temporarily smooth over with things like New Year’s resolutions, but ultimately we need God’s promise of renewal to fully fill us.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus promises the renewal of the New Year at any time and as many times as we ask. However, it feels too good to be true, too easy, or maybe too hard to simply reset and start fresh anytime, any place.

What stops us from accepting Christ’s promise of renewal when we have stumbled, failed, messed up, or self sabotaged? Maybe we feel like there needs to be something more to it? That it should take more effort on our part, like signing up for a subscription or creating a detailed goal chart.

The message has been the same, we just need to listen. You don’t have to “do” anything, you don’t have to formulate, organize, prepare, or sign up. We are invited to relax and accept God’s renewal in our lives over and over, any month, any holiday, anytime, and anywhere.

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