What’s So Happy About the New Year?

 In Tori Smith

Here we are at the beginning of a new year, or maybe it’s just another year. Several years ago, I gave up making New Year’s resolutions because I wouldn’t fulfill them and then had to deal with the guilt of failing. As human beings, it’s my theory that we experience enough true guilt that we don’t need to add to that by making a declaration that we think is expected of us or one that gets us to join in “the fun” of those around us. What makes January 1 such an important date is that all things can begin new that day? And why do we only think about those things that we are determined to change at the first of the year? I understand that the numbers on the calendar change — this year we will be going from 2018 to 2019. But really, other than getting the date correct on the checks (which most of us don’t write any more), there isn’t much difference between December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2019. So why is it we only talk about making changes on January 1?

Follow me here, because it will seem like I’ve randomly jumped thoughts. One of my favorite verses in the scriptures is from Matthew 6:33 “33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” It comes from a passage where Jesus is teaching about not worrying about the things of this life. Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Now, we could call that a good New Years Resolution, but I think if we just think in terms of New Years Resolutions, we will fail at it, along with all the other resolutions we’ve made. Many years ago, I began to understand this verse is more of a course correction. All of us from time to time get our priorities out of order. We get excited about a new adventure and forget to spend the much-needed time with the Lord. Or we get behind on the bills and start to worry about the things of this life. Sometimes family struggles or chaos get in the way. Whatever the circumstance, we get off course and our eyes are distracted from the Kingdom of God. But this verse can act as a course correction throughout the year, not a New Year’s Resolution we make on January 1. Throughout the year whenever we begin to lose sight of the Kingdom of God, we can be reminded to seek first the Kingdom of God. Not just so we will gain the things of this life that we need, but so that we can gain more of God. That is how I handle life — with course corrections instead of resolutions. If you are good at making and keeping resolutions, that’s awesome! However we plan for life in the future, let’s make sure that Seeking the Kingdom of God and the place where He rules, the top priority in life! Have a wonderful 2019 as you seek first the Kingdom of God!!

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