It is a new year. People are making resolutions. Some people are glad the old year is gone, and some may wish it wasn’t. We lost some great icons this past year: Jerry Vandyke from coach, David Ogden Stiers from Mash, Steven Hawking, Tim O’Connor from Buck Rogers, Margot Kidder, Charlotte Rae from Facts of Life, Aretha Franklin, Robin Leach, Burt Reynolds, Anthony Bourdain, Stan Lee, Both George and Barbara Bush, and at the very end Penny Marshall and many more.
Sometimes it makes me feel old to see my childhood (and even adult) heroes pass away. So we look into the new year and hope it will be better than the last. Every year we will lose people who meant something to us. Every year we will have some good times and some bad.
This new year is what we make of it. We can face it with dread or we can face it with hope. Our attitude makes a difference. When I am down I often turn to the Psalms. The psalmist really knew how to look toward God in good times and bad. For example listen to the first few lines of Psalm 96:
O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples.
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.
We are called to tell of God’s glory on a daily basis. This Psalm makes me think of one of my favorite songs from the musical “the King and I”
“Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune so no one will suspect I'm afraid
While shivering in my shoes, I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune and no one ever knows I'm afraid
The result of this deception is very strange to tell,
For when I fool the people I fear, I fool myself as well
I whistle a happy tune, and every single time,
The happiness in the tune convinces me that I'm not afraid”
Now the Psalmist isn’t telling us to fool ourselves into being happy. The Psalm wants us to remind ourselves and others every day about God’s faithfulness and how much God cares about us.
It is all in our attitude. If we face the new year with the thought that God goes with us, it makes a difference. Yes, there will be hard times. Sometimes we will fail. Sometimes we will get hurt, but that doesn’t mean that God won’t be there to bless us this year, too. We have scripture to remind us of God’s faithfulness. We also need to remind each other that not only is God there for them, but we are, too. We don’t walk through this world alone.
One last bit of hope for the new year. The scriptures also allow us to peek at the end. Spoiler alert: God wins in the end! So I will leave you with the words of Revelation 21:5:
And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Happy New Year!