My youngest son has become a fan of Back to the Future. Yes, the movie. He has a fantasy of being Marty McFly traveling into the past and jetting to the future in a DeLorean time-machine. Santa Claus even brought him a hat that glistens with an array of colors worn by McFly in the future that my son insists on wearing everywhere. Santa Claus is definitely getting a disgruntled-parent letter as a response.
It would be nice to travel to December 2016 and have a conversation with our future-self on what we need to look out for this year. We could be more prepared for the potholes and roadblocks that might hinder our progress. But the time-machine DeLorean is only a thing of make-believe.
What if your present-day self could travel into the future and bring back a message? The way into the future is not by settling into a time-machine. Instead it is by setting our course today. It is the New Year. Time to set resolutions and new goals. The wisdom of Proverbs declares, ““In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). We plan out the path with goals and resolutions but ultimately the gift of new beginnings is from the Lord. “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Most resolutions are the same. We want to be less mean, more lean or more wealth and better health. And if we are honest, by March we have given up on trying. The push to do better, be better, and live better is ever before us the days after December but once the long nights of winter set in, the motivation becomes a drag.
Let’s forget resolutions. I want you to think of one word. One word that sums up who you want to be and how you want to live. Choose one word to focus on all year along. One word to ground you through the dreary nights of winter to the lazy days of summer. What will it be? Hope? Love? Fun? Alive? Courage? Focus? Grace? Laughter? What will be your word?
God gives us the gift of new beginnings. New beginnings are new opportunities. New beginnings are times of renewal. New beginnings are times to realign ourselves. Through the prophet God promises, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19). Don’t get bogged down in resolutions. Claim one word. Ask the Lord to give you one word to set you on a path of a new you.
What will be your word in 2016?