It’s January 2, 2024.
Are you one of those people who make New Year resolutions, or do you avoid doing so because they endure for about a week, leaving you feeling guilty, frustrated, and ashamed?
I’m in the second category. It just seems like there is always something that gets in the way at this time of year. Perhaps it is fatigue from the Christmas rush or maybe it’s that there seems nothing especially “special” about the coming of a new year that necessitates making changes. (Do I sound like a New Year Scrooge? Humbug!)
If you’ve launched a resolution this week, please don’t let me deter you!
Though perhaps a few intentions (not resolutions!) are worth considering. I’m not necessarily good at these, but here are some ideas I’m toying with:
For me, a key time for personal transformation is the season of Lent, which is coming up in about seven weeks, on February 18. (It’s definitely early this year!) Lent is a fixed period that invites us into a time of spiritual reflection. Unlike New Year’s Day, it gives us a five-week span to reflect on ways we need to follow Jesus more closely. It isn’t a day, but rather a whole season. And it provides an annual reminder to ask ourselves what is of deepest importance to us and how we want to bend and shape our lives to a more Christlike form.
Jesus has an amazing 40-day wilderness quest to help him clarify his mission and ministry, and during Lent we, too, can use intention to do the same. We have some interesting opportunities for spiritual growth that we’ll be sharing with you as Lent approaches.
In the meantime, hang in with your resolutions if you’ve made them. And if you haven’t, don’t worry; you’ll have your chance for change in seven weeks’ time.
As we transition from Christmastide into Epiphany may the light of Christ shine within you and all around you, and may you catch a glimpse of the light emanating from others as well.