2014 is now just a memory. Christmas decorations are coming down and Monday marks a cold-water-in-the-face return to the reality of life. Lots of people are making New Year’s resolutions. Gyms are doing a great business as people sign up to make good on their resolution to lose weight and get in shape. By Valentine’s Day the gyms will be empty.
What is it about an arbitrary point (January 1) in the space-time continuum that gives us cause to celebrate and vow to change? Why do humans mark a physical, unalterable event, the earth’s completing another revolution around the sun, as a time to propose change in their lives?
I suggest it’s because there is a divine spark inside each of us that tells us that this world isn’t all there is, nor is this frail existence in this world the sum total of our lives. Something, perhaps on a deeper and more fundamental level even than our subconscious mind, tells us we are strangers in a strange land. And it may be that this spark flares more brightly at this time because we have just finished the celebration of the birth of the one who gives us hope that there is more in store than a marble headstone after we depart this world.
Whether you choose to believe or not it’s hard to ignore the coincidence of this fairly universal desire to be better people, to live better lives, with the conclusion of the Christmas season and Christ’s invitation to come, follow me and be perfect, even as He and His Father are perfect. Let that tiny spark grow. Keep your resolutions burning brightly.