A New Year--A New Start


Paul Waaraniemi | 2017 January-February Shepherd's Voice

A New Year—A New Start

Have you ever heard a grown-up talk about making a New Year’s resolution? What do you think that big word resolution means? When used in this way, it actually means a promise. At the beginning of each new year lots of people make special promises to do, or not do, something for one whole year or longer.

If, later in the year, you ask people who have made these resolutions whether or not they have kept their promises, they often admit that they have not. Some people have made important changes in their lives with a New Year’s resolution, though. Some of these kept promises are sticking to a healthy diet, getting more exercise, quitting smoking, saving money, and so on. Do you think you could keep a promise to yourself?

A new year can be a good time to make a change, because when we’re saying goodbye to the old year, along with it, we can bid farewell to a bad habit, too. When we look at the calendar, we see that the new year has a new number. At Christmas time it was still 2016, now at the beginning of January it is 2017. A new year is a new start!

If we have done something wrong, we can put it away by asking forgiveness and believing it forgiven in the name and blood of Jesus. What a wonderful thing! And we can have forgiveness at any time, not just at New Year’s. Sometimes, though, we do things that are not sin, but they are not good for us either. I think we can all think of something like that. How about eating too much candy, or not brushing our teeth every day?

Now at the beginning of 2017, let’s think of some promises we could make to ourselves for the new year. I can think of a very important one—doing Sunday school, and regular school homework early when the teacher assigns it. We do a better job if we have enough time.

Sunday school memory work is hard to remember if we don’t give ourselves time to practice. Another promise could be going on a candy strike—our dentists would like that! Mom, or the people who take care of us, would probably think promises to willingly take turns at dishes or housework would be a great New Year’s resolution.

There are really fun resolutions kids can make too! How about playing piano every day or getting regular exercise? Writing in a journal or diary for 365 days in a row would give you quite a book at the end of the year. (Did you know that a year usually has 365 days?) Just think how much you would know if you read one poem or one page of a thick book every day!

If you make a promise that lasts for a whole year, you have developed a new, good habit, one that you won’t have to break the next year. Like we said earlier, a new year can mean a new start! Make a New Year’s resolution and see how long you can keep a promise to yourself.

Paul Waaraniemi

Adapted from 1997 January/February Shepherds Voice

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