New Thoughts for the New Year

31 Dec

New Year’s Day will be here so soon!

It’s that time of year when we all seek to sit down and make resolutions. We seek to get our financial life in order. We want to lose weight. We want to be better people.

I am not the kind of guy who often makes resolutions. Not that I am against them or those who do, but I rarely follow through with some lofty self-improvement goal that rolls off my tongue on December 31. So years ago, I just stopped. Now I just try to live the way I know I ought to live every day of the year. Sometimes I fail miserably. Other times I do pretty good.

G.K Chesterton said: “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.”

I loved this quote when I first read it for two reasons.

First, it speaks to the fact that there is nothing overtly magical about the ticking of the clock towards 12:01am on New Year’s Day. Yes, it’s great to stop and celebrate, to have a good time with friends and family. But, in the end, New Year’s is not that big of deal. It’s just another moment, another day, and another opportunity to breathe with thanksgiving for the gift of life. We are lucky to have so many of these moments through the year.

Second, I love the idea that Chesterton speaks of transformation. To truly be the “better people” that many of us crave to be, we have to allow something greater than ourselves (and I call this God in my own life) to change us– to give us a new soul, a new nose, a new backbone, new ears and new eyes.

Simply put, we have to see the world differently.

Over the course of 2013, I have had many opportunities through my work with Feed The Children to see the world with a new perspective.

I’ve met girls like Karen in Honduras who must go through the trash every day in order to earn her family a few dollars to live on. And though she misses school, she goes in later and gets the class assignments she missed from her teachers in an attempt to get the education that she hopes will lift her and her family out of poverty.
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I’ve met child care workers like those who run our orphange in Kenya who love and care for the children under their care as if they birthed these babies themselves.

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I’ve met boys like Oscar who our country staff calls “Kevin 2” although we are no blood relation– there is something about his spirit that has captured mine and vice versa.

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And through these experiences I am slowly and gradually changing.

This year I bought fewer Christmas gifts for those who really don’t need the excess and I gave more away.

This year as I sat around the Christmas table with my family, I couldn’t help but remember my larger family (and children!) around the world.

This year when late nights at work and piles on my desk sought to stress me out, I took a moment and remembered why I am working so hard– for the children– and I carried on.

I’m sure 2014 has much more to teach me and I am ready. New Years resolutions or not, 2014, here I come!

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One Response to “New Thoughts for the New Year”

  1. Vicky Viar December 31, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Thank you for sharing!

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