Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me
a willing spirit, to sustain me.
The calendar has turned a new page, and we find ourselves confronted by a new year. The revels have ended, and we awake to the prospects of new goals, new challenges, even “a new you”! Of course, most of us know that nothing much has changed since yesterday. The past has not been wiped clean; our little foibles are still tapping us on the shoulder. Our regrets and sorrows did not disappear when the clock struck twelve.
So here we are on the edge of a new year, and we are not sure what we should do about it. Where do we start? Perhaps the introductory deal at the health club is just the ticket. Or maybe a trip to the self-help section of a nearby bookstore will be the needed answer. Of course, the deeper question remains to be answered: How can we escape the habits and hidden desires that continue to weigh us down?
Could it be that the urge is the ancient inclination of the heart for reconciliation to the holiness of God? While we may think of ourselves as mere wandering shadows of the earth, alienated from God and not worthy of His love and attention, we still seem to feel the need to fill that emptiness in the heart with the fullness that can only come from Him.
The biblical narrative shows us why we often feel so forlorn. The good news is that the lost can be found. While the idea of a “New You” has taken on a strong commercial coloration, the deeper truth is that each one of us yearns for transformation. Let this be the moment when we decide to embrace genuine change that will finally bring peace, love, and joy into our lives every day of the year.