I love New Years. In fact, it is one of my favorite holidays. There is just something about starting over refreshed and anew that inspires me.
I probably do not celebrate the New Year the way that most people do. First of all, I don’t leave my house. There is nothing for me outside of Church and the grocery store December 22nd through January 1st. I really do not even care about watching the big shiny ball drop on New Year’s Eve, though I do it anyway to appease my family. But, even while I’m watching the ball drop and counting down to the new year in my mind, what I’m really celebrating is a chance to start over.
The next day I wake up bright and early to a healthy breakfast, and I go for a short – and I mean short – jog. I hate running, but hey, maybe this year I’ll catch one of those runner’s highs everyone lies about. After my jog, I shower and begin doing laundry. That’s right, I do laundry as a form of celebration to ring in the New Year, because how can you start over with a hamper full of dirty clothes? Then the real fun begins. I do a deep clean of the entire house, and I throw away or donate anything I can’t or won’t wear or use. Then, I organize all of my storage and tools, and finally, I cook a nice dinner. Over dinner I start to lay out my new plan for the upcoming year with my family. I tell them all the ways that I’ll be a better dad and husband, and each year they believe me, and each year I believe myself.
Even though I know that I’m probably not going to wake up every morning and drive to the gym in the bitter cold to get my first work out of the day in, and even though I know that I’m not going to keep my house as clean as I want to the whole year, I still love being able to start over. While year after year I meet some goals and fail to meet others, God has always been faithful to bring newness and blessings into my life. He gives me new challenges and the means to meet those challenges head on. He brings new friends into my life that encourage me to fight each and every day to be the best that I can be.
Jeremiah writes in Lamentations 3:21-23: “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” As we move into the start of a new semester and a new year, it is my prayer for you that you will continue to strive to be your best, continually resting in the grace and the mercy of a God that wants the very best for you.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
Jon Norman served in the United States Army Reserves for twelve years, two of which he spent deployed to Iraq. He currently serves as the Supervisor of the Liberty University Veterans Center, where he enjoys working with Liberty University student veterans as they transition from military service members to civilian students pursuing their education.