Dare to make your relationship with God your first priority this year — and watch what happens.
Fireworks. Champagne. Vanity. Partying. More vanity. Sleep. Hangover. Gym time.
That pretty much sums up New Year’s eve for a lot of people in pop culture and the media, don’t you think?
But could we dig a little deeper when we consider the start of 2020 — not just a new year but a whole new decade?
I adopted a far less cynical view of New Year’s eve once I prayed about it.
I found myself wondering what my view of the holiday would really be if I weren’t a slave to culture.
To quote Kanye West in his “Closed On Sunday” track from his hot new album “Jesus Is King,” in which the artist shares his own introspection and faith, “No more livin’ for the culture. We nobody’s slave.”
If I’m not being a slave to culture, how could I find more beauty in New Year’s eve?
Here’s what I came up with:
- Millions of people gather throughout the world to celebrate.
- They withstand cold weather, crazy traffic, crowded streets — for what? To watch a ball drop? To cheer at midnight?
- No. Because we crave something.
- We crave hope — a fresh start, a new beginning.
- We crave togetherness, just as much as we fear it.
- We want to start again, as many times as it takes — and we want to celebrate life.
- But none of us are sure how to do all of this.
On New Year’s eve, the whole world comes together.
After the clock strikes, we’re left with a day or two of peace — then we head right back to tiring morning commutes and crazy work schedules.
Inevitably we hear about New Year’s resolutions from one person or another.
- Are you going to go to the gym? How many days a week?
- Are you going to be skinny and fabulous?
- How about that big house — will it be yours?
- What about a new car?
I am guilty of all of it, right down to the last vow that that I will get my nails done on the regular — which is a perfectly acceptable thing to do for oneself, by the way.
But should it make it into my top five goals for the year — above, say, helping other people? Absolutely not.
But it sneaks in there anyway. That’s OK. I’m a sinner. I admit it. And I say that with great respect for myself and my faith.
So many of our private goals are vapid because we allow ourselves to get swept up in popular culture. We desire things that are so void of meaning, other than to satisfy “some” idea of what we wish we looked like to other people.
So our resolutions for the New Year can also be devoid of meaning, to our own detriment.
Instead, let’s consider what would bring us closer to God in 2020. The answer is different for all of us. There is no shame in wanting a bigger home or a nicer car. But those things cannot come before our relationship with God, our efforts toward our faith. That simply leads to sickness in varying degrees.
This New Year, let’s bring it all to God.
There’s no problem too big or too small to pray about. Pray about your vanity. Tell God you’re not sure why you don’t get to church anymore. Tell Him you need help focusing on your health. Tell Him your sins. Tell Him if you’ve lost faith. Tell Him your hopes and dreams, even if they seem crazy to everyone else. Tell Him everything.
As a good friend of mine said, “He’s God. He can handle it.”
Let your faith be a part of your New Year.
God wants us to come to Him.