So, it’s another new year, and I’m looking for something new to say.
It’s my favorite holiday. It truly is. But it’s still completely covered with cliches. I mean, really. How are things going with last year’s resolutions? Did you lose that weight? Did you quit smoking?
Maybe you did. But if you did then you are the exception to the rule.
But still we keep trying. So why do we do that?
Why is it that in the face of almost certain failure, we keep resolving to do better? Why do we keep resolving to change?
Because somewhere, deep down, every one of us is starving for a new start.
You can hear it in the modern myths we tell. It’s often repeated as a fact that every 7 or 10 years every cell in our bodies dies and is remade. So every 7 or 10 years we are a completely new person. That isn’t really true, but our desire to make it true speaks to something deep inside of us.
We want a fresh start. We want to wipe the slate clean, set fire to everything, and start again.
All we are looking for is an excuse.
Because somewhere deep down we realize that we are caught in a trap. We are stuck in a loop of clinging to the past, and worry about the future. We are stuck feeling guilty or nostalgic for things that are long gone. And we are stuck feeling hopeful or apprehensive about the future. And we miss out on being where we are.
Alan Watts says it like this, “If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present. I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass. For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now. If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.”
And maybe that is what Jesus keeps trying to get at. If you look at his teachings you will notice a pattern. He says, “Let go of the past…your sins are forgiven.” And he says, “Stop worrying about the future. Today has enough worries of its own.”
In other words, “Be where you are!”
Every breath is New Years Eve! In the moment that you read these words, you are a unique expression of what God is doing with you. May we not miss God’s fingerprints because we are too busy trying to wipe away the smudge. The Kingdom of God is eternal life. And eternity is right here, right now, in this moment. Your past is reconciled. Your sins are forgiven. Your future will worry about itself. God is breathing life into you right now. In this moment. In this instant. If you need a resolution…resolve to be present in the present.
Love is the Word,