As the clock struck midnight we paused to welcome the New Year. We were surrounded by family and church friends who had just finished having an enjoyable evening eating, and playing board games. Now the “sacred” moment had arrived. Fireworks lit the sky in our time zone. The more careless people in the world shot their guns into the air. The display of the Ball falling in the Big Apple was replayed on California television screens. Around the world people had been partying through the night. Many would get ticketed for driving under the influence as they returned to their homes. Others would not complete the trip.
While I listened to the sounds of excitement going on at that moment, I mused. What was so special about going from one day to the next? We had been doing that our whole lives without special celebration. What made this transition on the calendar to the following number outstanding? I remembered that I had talked with a lady just that week who told me that on January 1 she was going to stop smoking and cussing. But she is a part of forty to forty-five percent of American adults who make New Year’s Resolutions that statistics tell us will not last long. After one week twenty-five percent will fail to keep their resolution. Thirty-six percent fail after the first month. Only forty-six percent continue past six months. If statistics say that you probably will fail to keep your new resolutions then why try in the beginning? Maybe people make New Year Resolutions because they want to be better. Maybe they are disappointed with their performance in the past and want another chance.
The question remains. Is it worth it? I think so, especially for Christians. There is nothing magical about January 1. The point is that you must have a starting place. You must have a goal in mind. Have you been having regular daily devotions? Now is the time to start. Have you been faithful in your attendance at church? Now is the time to start. Have you been paying your tithe? Now is the time to start. Have you been looking for creative ways to do “good works”? Now is the time to start. Have you daily be making an endeavor to be pleasing to God in all that you think, say or do (thought, word and deed)? Now is the time to start.
So what is so special about a New Year? I think it may be like a starting block for a racer. January 1 is the block you put your foot against and then shove off from in your attempt to get a running start to improve for God. Setting the New Year’s resolution may be the first goal you need to accomplish. If you missed January 1st who cares? Today is as good as any other day when it comes to making up your mind that you are going to be more and do more for the Lord. If you have not done so already, put your foot against the starting block and shove off in a successful race for Him.
Dr. Gayle Woods