New Year's Day: A Time For Everything

It's the beginning of a new year!  Time for new beginnings!

There's something about New Year's Day that speaks to all of us.  We all feel the excitement of a fresh start, a chance to start over, a time to become better people. 

So many of us will make resolutions for the New Year.  I know that I have some in mind that I plan to enact in mid-January---after the holidays, and some time for bowl games, a bit of travel, and the like. 

Here's the Top Ten List of New Year's Resolutions for 2022, according to the Interwebs: 

Lose weight

Eat healthier or change diet

Get fitter and take more exercise

Spend more time with family and friends

Be more aware and take care of mental health

Sort out finances and cut back spending

Travel more

Take up a new hobby, sport or other interest

Be more environmentally friendly

Look for a new job

Maybe one or more of yours is on that list, or perhaps you might find some inspiration there---I'm here to help, you know. 

The problem that most of us face is that we have a lousy track record regarding resolutions.  Most of us abandon them after a month or two, which can result in a fair amount of despair or resignation. 

Most of us don't make resolutions in the first place because we are aware of our propensity to not follow through on them. 

There's some compelling psychology surrounding New Year's Resolutions that I'd like to explore for just a moment.  

We want to make resolutions for these reasons:  We have a new calendar, new expectations with the coming of a new year, and a renewed sense of resolve that may be our turning point. 

So why are we so bad at keeping them?

Well, the buzz wears off, for one thing.  We get so excited about the proposition of doing all the things that we know will make us better people, but then the reality of what it will take to do that sets in, or our old routines, the naysayers in our lives, etc. 

We find our motivation wanes, and we lose interest. 

And we also seldom change the habits that surround the resolution itself.  We might say that we want to get in shape, for example, but we continue to eat poorly, or we change our diet but don't add exercise, and then we wonder why we aren't losing weight. 

But according to Psychology Today, the one big reason... what it all comes down to is simply this:  Honesty.  We need more honesty about what is really keeping us from doing what we need to do to live more fully.  

We aren't honest about the things we won't let go of.  We aren't honest about what we need to pick up.  And we're not honest about our baggage, the things that constantly plague us and keep us from taking the following steps. 

To be honest with ourselves, we must understand something fundamental about life, and it's rhythms---rhythms that are vital for us to understand how we can begin again when we all flat on our faces or when life deals us a really awful hand that must be played.     

The passage of Scripture that we will be exploring today is all about life and how we might live it wisely and well.  It's also an honest assessment of the rhythms of dying and rising that permeates all creation, including us. 

The main idea that I want us to hang on to today is simply this: 


We don't need a New Year to begin again.  We are always beginning again, because we are constantly experiencing the rhythm of dying and rising.  

The passage of Scripture we're exploring comes to us from the book of Ecclesiastes from the Hebrew Scriptures: 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

Let me share a little bit about this passage.  First, it's popularly attributed to Solomon, the son of David, who was considered the wisest of Israel's kings.  But authorship has been debated for decades, and most biblical scholars refer to the author as the Teacher.  

The Teacher appears to be a world-weary, cynical and resigned person.  He has seen everything, according to him.  There is nothing new under the sun, he proclaims.  

But in reality, the Teacher is all about the simplicity of what brings wholeness.  The Teacher proclaims that you can spend your life trying to find the next high, the next opportunity, the next new thing, but happiness and fulfillment come when you simply do good while you live, do good work, and realize that there are inherent rhythms to life. 

There's an honesty about this passage that can be disturbing at times.  What disturbs you about it?  Let me reread part of it. 

The Teacher addresses mortality, struggle, triumph, connection, growth and more. 

"There is a Time..." for everything.  A rhythm to everything.  How does this change the way we see our lives?

Life happens on life's terms---but there's a rhythm to it that is important: Dying and Rising.  Things fall apart sometimes, but new things are built in their place.  we experience loss, but after the loss, there are new possibilities, new life, new beginnings.  

So what can you do this year to find a new beginning?  And another.  And another.  

Be Rigorously Honest About Where You Are & Where You Want To Be 
Realize That Setbacks Are Part of The Universal Rhythm 
Doing/Being vs. Doing/Avoiding 



Popular posts from this blog

Wuv... True Wuv...

Rapha & Yada - "Be Still & Know": Reimagined

The Lord Needs It: Lessons From A Donkey