Do you remember as a child getting a new coloring book and maybe even new crayons? The excitement when you opened that brand new book that had not one bit of coloring in it! It was all yours and you got to fill it with color and design! And doing that with new crayons made it even better!
Do you remember getting your brand new workbook in elementary school? No one else had written a word in it. It was all yours. You got to fill it with your wisdom and knowledge and new learning.
Do you remember getting a new journal? Maybe it was leather bound or had a nice calming picture on the front of it. Pages and pages of empty lines just waiting for you to pour out your heart. Now this was the perfect journal in terms of how it lays open and how the pages felt when you turned them. And the lines. Were they wide or college rule? Or maybe there were no lines at all and you were going to do more than just write. Maybe this one would include drawings and things glued in.
Do you remember?
Do you remember past new years where you’ve thought about the brand new year ahead?
You knew what you wanted and you had a plan for the days ahead. You may have had a say in where you were and your state of affairs as you began this new time. Much like picking out the best journal or coloring book. You had a fresh box of crayons with many colors.
Or you may not have been given a choice as to where you were and the state of your life. It was like being handed a gift and you had no idea what is inside. You may or may not have liked the journal cover or the lack of lines. You may not have liked the theme of the coloring book. Your crayons might have be old and dull and broken. You were handed something that was not what you’d planned on.
I’ve recently read several authors talk about the new year being like a clean slate or a clean sheet of paper on which we can begin to draw. I love that visual. How true this is.
But there is a difficult side to this.
What if my clean slate is an old beat up chalkboard that hasn’t been cleaned very well over the years? You know, the edges are chipped, the chalk just smears. Oh, you can clear the surface to write something new, but the imprint of all the past writing is still there, smudged in the background. And the chalk. The chalk is in small little chunks that are difficult to write with and there is only yellow.
The ideal would be a brand new white dry erase board! Shiny with smooth edges. Maybe even magnetic so you can add things other than writing! And alongside your beautiful new white board is a clean little eraser and a variety of colored dry erase markers. It’s perfect! The possibilities are endless!
Who wouldn’t want the new clean slate to start the brand new year? Do we always have a choice? A say in what we get?
I believe that more often than not, we are not given a choice. Life happens and we could end up with either. How we choose to use what we are given is up to us. How we choose to live out the next year is up to us. If we intentionally make choices that would help us end up with a cleaner, newer, shinier slate next year, then go for it! Make those choices. I’m convincing myself of this as I type!
Put the coffee with peppermint mocha creamer down and get on the floor and stretch these tired old muscles. Put on your walking shoes today and get out in the fresh air and walk instead of using this day as an excuse to lay around and eat bad food!
Begin the devotional reading that is dated January 1. Don’t wait until tomorrow because today is “a holiday.” Tomorrow will turn into another tomorrow and we know how that ends up.
Begin today to fill your empty slate (no matter the starting condition) with things that will honor yourself and God. Color with every color possible! Journal your hearts deepest desires and dreams! Fill your workbook with new learning and fresh knowledge.
I didn’t make a formal list this year. I have a vision for the year and what I would like it to look like. How I would like it to play out so that my slate might be that new shiny one with lots of colors and choices!
What is your vision for the coming year? While we don’t have total control over what happens, it helps to have a basic trip tic in mind. I don’t want the enemy to think for even a second he has a say in where my year is headed.
I know there will be struggles and hurdles. I also know that there will be much beauty and growth and love. I’m vowing to keep my eye on God and all things connected to Him. My vision for the year includes keeping His Word close by. I’m not committing to reading the bible in a year. That will fall short before January is half over! But His word will be by my side and filling my heart and mind as much as possible. I want that truth to be the first thing I turn to when a hurdle pops up in front of me.
I’m loosening the reigns on my resolutions this year. I’m excited to see what unfolds. In the meantime, I get to color and write and create and work and love and live and breathe for another day… today, January 1, 2014.
Happy New Year and may God bless us all!