Passage for today: Zechariah 1:3
In the movie “Forrest Gump,” Forrest and Lieutenant Dan were in a bar in New York on New Year’s Eve. There were two young ladies with them. The television was on the legendary Dick Clark’s annual New Year’s special, “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” As the clock was about to strike midnight, the ball began to drop. One of the ladies with Forrest and Captain Dan says, “Don’t you just love New Year’s? It’s an opportunity to start over.”
Technically, the only thing that happens on New Year’s Eve is you turn the page on the calendar from the previous year and begin a new calendar. And yes, symbolically it can represent an opportunity to start over; to begin anew.
For many, the New Year is an opportunity to go on a diet and began exercising. For others, maybe there is a project they need to finish, they are going back to school, decided to read their Bible more.
Whatever it is you need to change, the New Year does present us with the opportunity to start over, to begin again. Let me suggest some areas of life that we may consider starting over in.
First, I would encourage you to start over spiritually. For some, that may mean giving your life to Christ. Maybe there has never been a time when you trusted Christ as your Savior and you need to know that. I encourage you to make that decision. For others, maybe you have trusted Christ some time ago, but you have drifted from the Lord. Zechariah 1:3 says, “Return to me, and I will return to you” (Zechariah 1:3). I encourage you to return to the Lord.
Second, some may need to begin taking better care of themselves physically. I encourage you to begin even a small exercise program. Walk two miles a day. If that’s too much, start with one mile a day.
Third, I encourage you to use your time wisely. The Lord gives all of us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Bobby Bowden, legendary head coach for the Florida State Seminoles, once said, “Everyone has the same amount of time. It’s how we use it.” Do you need to turn the television off some? Make sure you are investing your time in worthy things.
Louise Fletcher Tarkinton wrote:
“I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door,
And never put on again.
The new year gives us an opportunity to start over. But Jesus is the place of beginning again. Take advantage of the opportunity to begin again as we begin a New Year.
Gregg Potts is a writer and minister in Bartow County.