Friday, December 28, 2007

looking forward to the new year

If you're like me, New Year's Day is just a day off in which one is hopefully with family and can watch some decent college football (with hopefully some good reading). But beyond that New Year's Day doesn't take on much more significance to me than beginning a new calendar year, and getting used to writing a new date for the year: 2008 or 08 instead of 07.

And I'm not one given to New Year's resolutions. I can't remember any one I've actually made in particular, and it's not really in my understanding of how to live, particularly how to follow Christ. Though I know it's a custom in our culture.

What the turning of the calendar does remind me of is the periodic new, fresh starts we need in our lives, in Christ. There are times when we become aware that we need a change of heart, or a new working in our heart from God. This past year has been a year like that for me. And I've had one significant breakthrough after which I must by grace, keep heading in a long obedience in the same direction. I am in the midst of more change. It's hard, but good, as the Lord works on areas to make me more like himself.

This has not been done in a vacuum, nor is it being done so, but through others, and especially one who having shared their own story, through the blog world entered my story. And in the Lord has had, and continues to have an impact in my life which has been, and continues to be life changing. Isn't the blog world funny? Maybe not as surreal as some think it to be. It does seem like in "the real world" there are friends few and far between as well as opportunities in which through fellowship, life change can take place. But this is an important part of what the Jesus community is all about.

So I look forward to a new year in which God will be present in Jesus by the Spirit to us together, in our lives- through the good times and the bad times. That we will be present for each other, sharing our stories and God's working in our lives. And helping someone along their difficult way, through loving fellowship, listening, prayer and words of humble counsel.

I also look forward to another year, Lord willing- in which I will continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In which I will not only continue to change, but that by grace I'll be a different and better- in Jesus terms- person, all the way around. In quietness and confidence before our God.

What about you? Are you looking forward to a new year, and why- or why not?


Anonymous said...

actually it kind of scares me to think of the whole new year all at once. my new year's resolution is to not have a new year's resolution...i am kind of stubborn that way. God willing i will live this day and wake up tomorrow as well. i guess, in a way, i do not really like to push things with God. i think it is that mid-west upbringing in me. i do like the thought that you bring in this post of the fresh starts. i can see by the calendar image the passage of time and the changes that take place. spiritually it is so much like the tearing away of the past and putting on the new. kind of like the opening of a new present every day, and have it be a new robe to put on in place of the old one. a new way to think and see and understand while the old is shed and discarded. and i think that we agree that this is done every day and that every day is special and holds this for us. we are so blessed to have Christmas and and new day every day with God throuth Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Happy new day in Jesus!

Anonymous said...

or maybe it should be...
happy newness in Jesus!

Ted M. Gossard said...

I like the happy newness in Jesus, too. Certainly now always easy in discarding the old and putting on the new, but oh so good.

Kim said...

Hi Ted. I am looking forward to a New Year. I'm setting a priority of putting others first. Remember Gale Sayers' autobiography "I Am Third"? In it, he set his priorities like this: "The Lord is first; my family and friends are second; I am third." I like this. This year, I die to myself and put God and others before me. God help me in this quest. Peace and blessings in the New Year! Kim

Anonymous said...

Ted -- I love this post. I am not one for New Year's Resolutions either. I feel like everytime I find myself slowing down or moving in the wrong direction, I need to remind myself of what's good and true and continue in it. Kind of a regular recalibration to Jesus.

Looking forward to many more great posts from you in 2008!

Craver Vii said...

Sure, I look forward to the new year. But not as a settler looks forward to a destination. Rather, as a sojourner, savoring each step in the journey.

Blessings, Ted.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Sound, sage counsel. Good and important to keep working on it; it's so easy to get things out of order resulting in disorder in one's life. No shalom ("the way it's supposed to be"- C. Plantinga) there.

Ted M. Gossard said...


I like your words describing this, and then your end: "Kind of a regular recalibration to Jesus."

Thanks for your kind words.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, as a sojourner, not a settler. So very true and good, and so very important for us to remember. Thanks for reminding us.

Blessings to you and yours, as well.

The Walk said...

I guess I'm in the minority, here. I usually don't have New Year's resolutions, but at the prompting of my mother to try some new hobbies, I'm doing some this year.

Mostly, I find that New Year's is a time for me to pause and reflect on the past year--struggles, failures, surprises, and successes.

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Walk,
I think to try something new like that can be good. That sounds more like just trying something new, rather than an actual resolution.

I've noticed too that the turning over of the calendar into a new year can give one some pause and reflection on the preceding year, what has passed and transacted. I have heard, and it makes sense to me, that I should see some clear changes in my life over, say a five year period- of growth in grace and Christian formation. But a year can make a big difference, and as this post reflects, it has been a turning point for me in at least one important way in my life.

Hope you enjoy, or find a hobby you enjoy in this new year.