Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

The beginning of the liturgical year is today, September 1. The day Jesus stood in the synagogue and proclaimed that He was the fulfillment of the prophecies. The One. The Gospel. The Word.

A time to pray for seasonable weather and praise God for the blessings of life and the earth. A time to bless water in case you've used up your supply from Theophany. A time for all things new and fresh.

So, I was thinking. I've always seen New Year's resolutions as a bit pointless. No one keeps them. It's just a reason to feel guilty a week (maybe a month) later, when your good intentions dissolve into reality. Resolving to change my life on January 1, just because it's January 1, doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But resolving to change my life because it's a time of thanksgiving and freshness in the Church year...that does make sense to me. The newness of this new year can become more than a shaky promise that fades after the confetti settles. It can be a true renewal.

My New Year's Resolution:

Love God more.

What? No long-winded promises to be bigger, better, richer or thinner? Nope. Just love God more. And if I can do that, everything else is taken care of.

I've been frustrated with people lately. Their actions. Their lack of action. I resolve to love God more, therefore I will see Christ in the people I interact with each day. I will forgive...seventy times seven times. Doesn't mean I will tolerate their sin, but I will love them and work with them for the glory of God (because Jesus came to the world to save sinners...of whom I am first). Time to focus on me and my own sin. I will repent.

I've been eating too much lately. Mindless eating. I've been trying to change what we eat and how we eat this year. We've made major changes and huge strides toward a better relationship with our bodies' fuel. But I still eat too much. I resolve to love God more, so I will remember that my body is not my own...it was bought at a price. I will calm the passions through prayer and fasting. I will not make excuses, and I will not let my flesh dictate my life. I will overcome.

I have not been ordering my days well. I get distracted or lazy or well, um...lazy! I don't get done what needs to get done. I make the rest of my family live on the edge of chaos, and my home is often a source of stress rather than a haven. I resolve to love God more, therefore I will order my day the way God commands. I will put prayer first. I will put the needs of family before my own. I will not over-extend myself. I will not settle for just getting by. I will thrive.

I have not been loving God. Sure, I say the right things and appear to do the right things, but I haven't been loving God like I want to love Him. Like He deserves to be loved. Love is not always warm fuzzies. It's pushing through the tough times and doing what you said you were going to do because that love matters. Loving God is a daily event. An obligation, but more so, an opportunity. Loving God always leads to good. Loving God can never lead you wrong. It's a chance to change my life. To be new. A new year. A new me. With the God that makes all things new.

O Creator and Master of time and eternity, super-substantial God of all, O Merciful One: bless the course of this year, and in your boundless mercy, save all those who worship You our one and only Master and who cry out to You in fear:
"O Saviour, grant a happy year to all mankind!"

Troparion for the New Year


  1. Blessed New Year to you! Ditto to everything you said. Blessed is He who can make us new!

  2. Thanks for writing this. I really needed to read it today. Spot on. Happy New Year.