There's Always Next Year
This last October something happened for the first time since 1908. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series. Year after year, for 108 straight seasons, the Cub’s efforts would end in defeat, and the fans from the Northside of Chicago (including our own Pastor Tom) had a mantra that said: “There's always next year.”
For us, too, a New Year offers new hope. Soon 2016 will turn into 2017. One thing I appreciate about New Year’s Day is that it has the ability to help us mark the time, and also contemplate what has been and what could be. It does not matter what 2016 was like, 2017 has the promise to be something completely different. There are endless possibilities ahead for you and me.
One year from now we could be more hopeful, or more cynical. We could be more empathetic, or more selfish. We could be more rooted in Christ, or more rooted in the thinking of the world.
I appreciated an article written for The Gospel Coalition by Joe Carter (no not the baseball star). In the article he suggests that rather than making a New Year’s resolution (which at least 50% of the time are not kept anyway) instead as Christians we should instead seek to create one new healthy habit for the year. Habits, he says, form our characters. Habits are the thousands of little choices that over time make us who we are.
What might God be calling you to this year? Is it daily Bible reading and prayer? Could it be time away from screens? Or taking one day a week to rest? What are some healthy habits you and I could build into our lives? What are some of the little victories that over time will transform us to be more like Christ?
It does not matter what kind of year 2016 was, for a new year is ahead of us.
Proverbs 4:18 tells us that “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” All things that happen to us, good and bad, are used by God to make us more like Christ (Romans 8:29). The perennial hope of God’s people is that “there is always next year.” The sun shines brighter every year for God’s people. As we enter into this New Year of 2017, may we greet it with hope knowing that Jesus is at work within us and within this world.
Happy New Year!
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