It may be a few days later than everyone else (you know timing isn’t my strong point), but I’ve been thinking about the new year.
On new year’s eve/day there were millions of status’ and tweets flying around the stratosphere about how great/terrible/exciting/dull/roller coaster (delete as appropriate) the past year had been and how this year will be better/even better/can’t get any better (delete as appropriate). I suppose we can get all sentimental and emotional (well, some more than others) as a new year means a new start, a new beginning. Chance to start over and move forward. Maybe leaving some things behind and looking to the future. A line in the sand. I do take time (this year there’s clearly been a lot to think about as it is now eight days in) to think about what I’ve been up to and what in my life is different (for the better or not) to this time twelve months ago; my hobbies, social life, physical activity, relationship with God. It is a chance to thank God for all He has provided over the last year, and to see His faithfulness clearly time and again.
Last night (first Tuesday of January 2014) was a momentous occasion for me. It was the one year anniversary since starting to learn to jive; my new year’s resolution from 2013. It is the first time I have ever completed a whole year of a resolution. Quite an achievement for me. I know many of you will be sick of hearing me talk of jive yet again, but I love it and I actually don’t know how I lived without it. It has (literally) changed my life – something I certainly hadn’t anticipated. Yet resolutions are exactly that – committing to changing something in our life (hopefully for the better) long term. But iit can be so easy to feel guilty about failing, to give up when the rest of normal life takes over again. Society moves at such a fast pace that by the time we’ve started something ten new ideas have come on the scene and all of a sudden we aren’t as committed as we once were.
So I’m risking it and putting it out there so I can try and complete this one too – this year I want to read the Bible in One Year. I’m following HTB Church’s app, written by their vicar Nicky Gumbel. It comes straight to my phone every morning, and I read the passages and short commentary with each section. I am a slow reader, particularly in the early morning, so it takes me about half an hour to read it all. I’ve found by trial and error (basically epic fail) that if I don’t read it as the first thing I do, I rapidly run out of time before I have to leave for work. But this is not about feeling guilty for missing a day. It is about growing in relationship with God, who wants the best for us; not being punished for not keeping up. Will you join me? It is always good to encourage others so let me know if you are doing it too! If it’s something you want to join in with (it’s not too late to start!), sign up on their website to the app or to get the emails. Maybe you aren’t a Christian but you want to find out more about what is in the Bible and what on earth I am talking about – please do get in touch, I’d love to link you up to an Alpha course near you where you can explore the Christian faith and ask questions.
In thinking about the ‘new’, I have been reminded of the passage in Revelation 21v5 talking about a new heaven and a new earth where it says
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
When the time comes, heaven and earth will pass away and God will make all things new and perfect. What a hope to hold on to! Our life in eternity with the Father, and it will be heaven. Literally.