So, we woke up this morning to a brand new year. 2014 is a newborn, with a fresh slate and unblemished record. The entire year is like a lawn covered with freshly fallen snow, the way it looks before the first footprint. I wonder how long the newness will last.
January 1, 2014. 1/1/14. I like the look. Tagging a year with the number 13, that just never felt right to me. I wonder how long it will take for writing 14 at the end of the date to feel normal. I usually have to scratch out and retry until it’s time to buy heart-shaped boxes of candy.
Speaking of candy, how about those resolutions? Raise your hand if you have vowed — even to yourself, without broadcasting it for fear of failure — to eat better, exercise more and lose weight? Go ahead. Make a statement. Put your hand in the air and cement the promise to yourself. Nobody is looking.
There. That’s better. I wish you well, but I know from past experience that your resolution will end at about the same time you get used to writing 14 at the end of the date. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. I have made the same resolution — again. Actually, my lovely wife, Lisa, made it for me. She even went out and bought me a pair of goggles so I can get in the pool and swim off a few pounds. We’ll see.
I have a few resolutions of my own that don’t involve my physique, but rather the real person that resides inside this earthly vessel I call my body. I want to try my best to become a more Godly man. I want to follow the admonitions of John Wesley and strive to become more like Christ. Now that is a resolution, let me tell you.
I want to attempt to treat every person I encounter with dignity and respect — even Yankees and Tech fans and, yes, Auburn folks. I know, I know. It would be much easier to just cut out sweets and walk a couple of miles a day, but I really want to surrender myself and help the light of the Lord shine on an ever-darkening world.
There. I have bared my soul. We will see how I do as the year progresses.
The big question is, how does one go about doing such a thing?
I’m no expert, but I would assume that if a person wants to be like someone, he or she would have to spend a lot of time getting to know that someone. Wow. I never realized it could be that simple.
Where could a person go to spend more time with Christ? Other than heaven, of course. I want to go there someday, but not if you’re getting up a load to go right now.
The church should be such a place. I know a lot of people who say they don’t go to church because … and they find lots and lots of reasons to stay away. I also know that a lot of folks resolve to go to church more regularly at the start of each new year. If you don’t have a church, come go with me in Olde Town Conyers at the First Methodist Church. It is a wonderful place, chock full of sinners, and there is always room for one more. Careful, though. We are awfully busy feeding the hungry and taking care of the left-out people of the community. You might find yourself all wrapped up in helping others if you aren’t careful.
Hmmm. I wonder where else I might spend time in order to get to be more like Him. I suppose I could study the Bible more. I know a lot of dear souls who claim to be Christians who haven’t opened their Bibles in years. If we want to know how God wants us to live our lives, I would think studying the Word of God would be an excellent way to find out.
Where else might I spend time in 2014 trying to get closer to God? What did Jesus do? I know! He went out into the world. He ate and drank with everyday people. He walked and talked with the people and got to know folks up close and on a personal level. He met the people where they were and ministered to them.
I suppose that is what I should do, too. There are plenty of people out there, that’s for sure.
I am glad we had this little talk today. I think it helped make my path for this fresh new year just a little more clear. I will do the diet and exercise thing to make Lisa happy — but I’m not starting until tomorrow. I have a ball game to watch today and pork roast and collards and black-eyed peas and sweet potatoes and cornbread to eat this evening.
I am going to begin working on my other resolution immediately.
See you at the gym — and I pray I will see many of you at church, too.
Happy New Year, y’all.