I really appreciate and enjoy the cycles of nature. There is a time to plant, and a time to reap. Night and day. The four seasons. The calendar year – which we have an opportunity to begin anew today. I like seeing the moon waxing and waning across the sky. Like our long ago ancestors, I’m pretty sure that after the winter solstice, the sun will begin its climb upward, giving us a little more light day by day until the June equinox. Then we head backwards again for six months. Even the weather can have a certain rhythm to it, as warm and cold fronts come and go and high and low pressure systems race over the globe. There can always be some surprises thrown in now and then. Here in Nebraska we say, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around cuz it’ll change soon.”

I think God had a good idea when He made our environment this way. It’s a chance to periodically launch a new beginning. Every morning when the alarm buzzes, I know I have a fresh start at life. The so-called weeping prophet Jeremiah declares that the mercies of God never fail; that they are new every morning. And that’s after three chapters of lamenting over the immense suffering and distress of God’s people, whose arrogant disobedience brought them ruin and capture through the Babylonian invasion. But as is so often recorded and acclaimed throughout the Old Testament, after correction comes redemption.

So today it’s time to switch out the kitchen calendar, to start remembering to write the correct year on our checks. Ooops. But most importantly, this is a good day to realize that a “do over” is possible. Like taking a mulligan on the golf course, unless you’re touring the tournament circuit. Even if we messed up last year, our prodigal Father God is looking for us to come back home, to get back into the family where we belong. My New Year’s resolutions may include a long list of behaviors and attitudes I need to work on, but primarily I’ve resolved to truly surrender my life and all it involves on a daily basis to the Lord. That’s almost like having another January 1 every day.

Have a wonderful 2017 everyone!