We are ending one year and approaching a new one! That brings unknowns and opportunities. The coming year will be filled with blessings, as well as challenges and troubles. Still, it’s like a fresh blank page on which you write more of your life story. What a fantastic privilege – and responsibility! What will you write on your fresh blank page this next year?
Fresh Blank Page
The end of a year blends into the beginning of a new one by the simple passing of days. This process happens all year, but when those few days end one thing and begin another, they are noteworthy. Christmas celebrations do not dim New Year’s festivities. People approach a new year with hope, even if they live in difficult circumstances. If nothing else, people hope against hope for something good in the new year.
Real living happens in the process of blending the old into the new. Jesus brings new life all the time. He said He is making all things new. (Rev. 21:5) Then in Jn. 17:3, it says that knowing the Lord IS eternal life. Jesus will fill each moment of your life to overflow with His own fresh new life – If you let Him.
Jesus adds new memories to what is already meaningful. This comes about as you hold tightly to all His commands and promises. He erases what should not be there and helps you accept things that cannot be changed. Jesus heals wounds and brokenness. He is the God of endings and beginnings even as He bridges continuity between the two.
So, we can conclude Jesus has new memories you can write on your fresh blank page. You can live in His ways, experience His help, and have a Companion as you “write” your new life chapter.
Blending The Years With A Fresh, Blank Page
How do you blend years successfully? This process takes pensive exploration, but healthy people engage this activity each year. Many spend time in review, contemplation, and planning for what’s ahead, even though it’s unknown. Being thoughtful in leaving one thing and entering another means making decisions that can bring about change, boost worthy endeavors, and seek out greater good.
- Entering a new year is a new opportunity for participation in things that will last. So much in this life seems to pass away. How reliable – to drop your anchor into something that is timeless.
- A new year is a responsibility to continue working on character and integrity. This is an investment you make in yourself. Perhaps you have children. If so, it’s also an investment you make in their little (or big) lives.
- Then there’s the component of strategic change and development. Some things in the old year need to be shed. Cut away. Dropped off. However, some things in the old are valuable. Thoughtfully bring them forward. Ask God for wisdom to know what to cut away and what to bring forward.
- Traditions, practices, and patterns can be good or bad, depending on their purpose. If your annual traditions are empty and void of meaning, maybe it’s time to cut them away. If they are a reminder of things that matter most, hold them tightly to your heart.
- With a new year, a new opportunity, a new habit or pattern – can come the fresh new touch needed to keep life vibrant and interesting. Fresh perspective helps keep hope alive. New information and experiences bring greater understanding.
- A new year can also bring healing to body, spirit, mind, emotions. But this healing needs to be prayed for, and participated in.
What can you focus on as one year slips into another? As one moment slips into a new moment all year long, what valuable traditions can you bring forward to aid in a new year, a new week, a new day, a new moment? Truly, each new moment is a time slot to unlock and activate your potential as a person. It’s also a chance to connect with the power you were intended to live with. This power comes from the Person who wants to share each moment with you. Jesus loves you deeply – each moment of your life.
What new things will you make room for in your heart and schedule? You are an active player in filling your fresh blank page – a partner. So, you have some thinking to do. As you consider both your successes and failures from this past year, what kinds of changes should you make? You can expand the territory of your heart – and your schedule – to make room for new growth and fresh experiences.
Even with the highest aspirations and best intentions, you cannot accomplish what is needed to move from one year to the next in a healthy manner. You need a Companion who knows all things, has no limitations, and shares His power with His friends. Ask the Lord for wisdom, power, intimacy, and peace as you intentionally work to marry the old with the new in your life. After all, He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. (Is. 9:6)
Let’s examine what those four names say about your Companion and your Power Source.
- Wisdom from Wonderful Counselor. Prov. 9:11 says, “Through wisdom, your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.” This is not a guarantee you will live to be 100! The broken world is filled with threats against the longevity of life. It does mean God knows your days and will multiply them into a many “kind-of-effect” if you live under His counsel. It means, even if previous choices or perhaps circumstances you had no control over affect your life-span, your years will overflow with true life as you consult Wonderful Counselor.
- Power is available through Mighty God. Ps. 68:35 says, “the God of Israel gives power and strength to His people.” This includes you. If you have trusted Jesus, you have power and strength to write a purposeful life story on your fresh blank page. You can have an Alive and Active Life. Do you believe this? Are you taking up God’s power and strength by faith?
- Intimacy with Everlasting Father. 1 Pet. 2:9 says, “. . . you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession . . .” Jas. 2:23 says that Abraham was called God’s friend. That friendship is a result of believing God – no matter what. So you have a caring Father, and you can be God’s friend.
- And, yes – you receive peace from the Prince of Peace! Isn’t peace desperately needed everywhere in this world right now? Not just globally, but in every individual life. When the broken world is in turmoil, you can still have peace in your heart. Jn. 14:27 says, “My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Great words, don’t you think? And they are true. Have you made them your own by faith?
Another Special Name For God
God is also the Extraordinary Strategist! Only He knows how to blend the “fresh new” and the “valuable old” in your life. He knows how to marry the best of both in the very place you actually live your life – the NOW that fills your fresh blank page.
Passing The Baton
Once you pursue a plan for this new year, your choices will affect your life – every fresh blank page. Your choices will also affect others. In other words, you have influence. Why not use this powerful phenomenon for as much good as possible?
Let your decisions, words, attitudes, and actions be a clear testimony to Jesus Christ and His character. Your life is a story that can point people to God. This power and influence begins with complete surrender to the Lord. Paul calls it “living sacrifice.” So being surrendered is the first thing you can do to pass the baton.
The second thing you can do to pass the baton is to work to encourage and informally train others your life touches to trust and obey God. Each person has fresh blank pages to write their story on this next year, too. Why not help set them up for success? Be a friend to them. Pray for them. Speak kindly and truthfully into their life.
Application Thoughts And Questions
So what will you do with your fresh blank page? Here are some thoughts and questions to help as you think about this.
- Pen to paper, or in your device, start contemplating practical ways to blend this year into next year.
- In what specific ways do you want to tap into and activate your potential this next year?
- Using the four names given to Jesus, how will you partner with Him to gain the wisdom, power, intimacy, and peace you need to write a purposeful life story on your fresh blank page.
- Pen to paper again to explore how you will pass the baton to others this new year.
May you remember God is with you as you end one things and begin another. Look to God, your Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace!