I was struck a few minutes ago about the contrast of January and new beginnings. I mean, everyone knows that you make resolutions on New Year's Eve because January 1st is a new beginning. But as I walked around my neighborhood on an unseasonably warm evening, I noticed how everything is...dead. Oh sure, there was still the occasional left over Christmas display which was cheery, but the trees were dead, the grass is dead, there was ice and a few patches of left over snow. It could all be a little depressing if you think about it.
I will admit though that I did find beauty in the peacefulness. After the busy weeks leading up to the holidays, the chaos of a short first week back at work, and a very long day of training today, I was feeling suffocated. I truly enjoyed the week off between Christmas and New Year. I left the laptop at work and enjoyed downtime with my family, but it didn't take long for the pressures of life push their way back in as soon as schedules returned to normal.
I didn't make resolutions this year. No new resolve to lose weight. No new plan for how to have better devotions. No set reading list or bar to measure my success at any type of literary endeavor - reading or writing. In all honesty, probably because I knew they would be destined to fail. It's not that I wouldn't love to do any one of those things. I just know that at this season in my life, life is taking an extreme amount of energy on its own. Why complicate it?
Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
I have always understood this verse to mean that a man can set a goal, but it is up to God how he gets there (or if he gets there at all). Today I am seeing it in a new light. It's a very slight difference, but it changes everything. What if it means that man can plan his course and how to get there, but if he trusts God to lead him where God wants him to go, the steps he takes will be determined as in sure and solid?
For me there is a peace in that. As I trust God to lead me where He wants me to go - not where I want Him to take me, I can be assured that I will be where He wants me to be. It's kind of a cool thought, isn't it?
So my new beginnings this year, aren't really new beginnings at all. It's all about a new perspective.