And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,… (Romans 8:28-29)
Recently a nursing colleague of mine shared her New Year’s spiritual practice with a group of nurses. Each January, she spreads out cards with attributes listed on each one like hope, peace, kindness, courage, etc. With the attributes hidden, she then randomly picks one. This becomes her focus for the year. She daily strives to live out this new behavior or character trait into her life. She is intentional with the change and hopes by the years end, she will be more kind, hopeful, or whatever her chosen attribute for the year was.
As I listened to her sharing with the group and encouraging others to “pick a card.” I compared it to what I and other Christians do. Every January, I come to the Lord in prayer, seeking Him to illuminate my life with a bold freshness or a new grace. Anything that Jesus has for me to guide me in serving and loving Him more and more. I reflect on scripture and review recent workings the Lord has done in my life. My intent is to be open, welcoming, and humble to what Jesus has for me in the coming year.
So how is my process different from picking a card with positive attributes? Our first thought might be in humility and effort, which would be incorrect. My colleague truly desires to be a better person just as much as I do. The biggest difference is she is alone on her journey. I feel a sadness and an emptiness for her. Only Christ followers have the indwelling Spirit of Life, the personal Creator and our own personal Teacher to walk in trust into a New Year filled. Our relationship with the Trinity is the framework Christians approach the New Year with confidence, knowing a year later the Lord will have brought us a further down our faith journey in conforming to Him.