Happy New Year! The funny thing about a new year is that there is theoretically nothing different from December 31 to January 1. It is just another passing from one day to the next, but people often view it as a chance to start over with a clean slate. It’s that time when many people will make promises they intend to keep throughout the next year. On the other hand, they also try to forget something that happened in the year before.

While 2014 contained some wonderful things, including our life-changing trip to Haiti, this year has definitely been a rough one for many people. This past couple months have been the hardest. This year, my wife and I each had a grandmother pass away. We also had a few deaths within our church, which does not happen very often, considering many of those who come to RCC are younger. It has been a year of struggle, sickness, loss, and pain for many of my family and friends. Much of these things, we would like to leave in 2014, but that is not as easy. The sickness does not go away as soon as it strikes midnight, and the pain of a lost loved one is not suddenly relieved when the ball drops in New York City.

Nonetheless, it is important to look forward to what may happen in the year ahead. Something I have often struggled with is walking the line between planning ahead and living for today. Honestly, we are not promised tomorrow, so why focus all our time on future plans? Likewise, there are many reasons to have goals in life, if we are given more time on earth. So, I constantly walk the line. What is God asking me to do today, and what is He asking me to do in the future? It is a prayer I pray quite often. I believe the full answer is different for everyone, but the basic answer is the same for each individual. God is calling us to love Him and love others, by which, pointing others to His love.

On a lighthearted note, I believe Charles Shultz, as he often does, gets it right. In the classic “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown,” Peppermint Patty asks Charlie Brown what are some good rules for living in the new year. He says:

  • Keep the ball low.
  • Don’t leave your crayons in the sun.
  • Use dental floss every day.
  • Don’t spill the shoe polish.
  • Always knock before entering.
  • Don’t let the ants get in the sugar.
  • Never volunteer to be a program chairman.
  • Always get your first serve in.
  • Feed your dog whenever he’s hungry.

Good advice, Mr. Shultz and Charlie Brown! So many times, we overthink things, when instead, we just need to do what we know we should do. Live each day to its fullest, take care of what has been given to you, and use your God-given morals and common sense to be of service to those around you. That is my New Year’s Resolution — to be a better disciple of Christ. I will probably fail sometimes, but that is the beauty of God’s grace. He will be there to forgive me, pick me up, and let me try again.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for 2015? What are you trying to remember from 2014 or, instead, leave behind?

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