by Anne Hamilton
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
These lines by Minnie Haskins were made famous during the Second World War when George VI quoted them to encourage the people of Britain. Tomorrow is New Year’s Day: the gate of the year.
For most people it won’t be much different from any other day, except maybe for having spent tonight in sustained revelry.
The thought of goal-setting or resolution-making is one most of us have dropped years ago. In fact, I’ve already been sent a couple of blog posts about why New Year’s Resolutions are a bad idea. Why set ourselves up for failure or disappointment? Why put ourselves under more pressure? Why try to perform in the face of inevitable frustration when we can rest in grace?
Of course, the flipside is we can’t achieve a goal unless we have one. We might protect ourselves from a letdown but we guarantee ourselves a lack of success – especially on the fronts that matter to us. (After all, we don’t usually make resolutions about unimportant things.)
Instead of simply setting goals we’d like or that we think would be good, perhaps New Year’s Day is an amazing opportunity to spend some extra time with God, asking Him if there’s anything He’s got in mind for us to achieve this year. And how best to go about it. Perhaps we could even ask Him to hold our hands, just in case we stumble as we remember old disappointments, past failures and present pressures.
And as we take His Hand, entering 2014, let’s rededicate ourselves and our writing to the Restorer of Hope who sits on the throne and says, ‘Behold, I make all things new!’
Happy New Year from Anne Hamilton and all the rest of the writers at the Australasian Christian Writers blog.