Living on Purpose: Every day is a new opportunity to begin again
Published 3:31 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2023
By Billy Holland
I hope everyone is having a blessed holiday with family and friends. Spending time with those you love is much more meaningful than all the customs and traditions. The same is true with our spiritual lives, as it comes down to our relationship with God and our peace and joy in living in His presence. I’ve spoken with several people who have no family and have spent holidays alone over the last few weeks. However, they rejoice in the hope that comes from knowing God and trusting Him in everything.
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The new year is a perfect time to examine where we are and where we would like to be and to appreciate all the good things that the past year has given us and all the blessings yet to come. January means “beginning,” and as we plan our resolutions, they will most likely include developing physical, emotional, and spiritual lifestyle changes. You notice I used the word developing because our goals are often a lengthy process. For example, eating a salad or taking a walk today is not going to make us healthy automatically, but it’s a positive first step that will pay off if we can embrace that secret weapon called perseverance. Let’s believe that anything is possible, and just like all things in life, as optimism is a learned behavior, diligence, and determination are essential components of personal transformation.
A lot can happen in a year, and only some are in the mood for celebration. Many had difficulties and are trying to find the confidence to keep moving forward. Some have lost loved ones or have received a negative health diagnosis, while others are filled with joy at the arrival of a child or grandchild, a new job, being wed, or buying a new home. As glasses are raised and fireworks explode into the sky, it’s important to remember that character is the ability to carry out a realistic strategy long after the excitement of the moment has passed. If, after a couple of weeks, you sense you are failing, do not allow discouragement to intimidate you. May we realize that every day is a new opportunity to begin again. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, and have hope for tomorrow.”
There have been many adaptations from the original Al-anon credo that encourage everyone to be realistic about trying to change everything all at once, as it’s important to realize that changing who we are is a lifestyle and not just a whim. No one else can do this for us. We must see our need to change and be willing to do whatever it takes to be victorious. There is nothing wrong with having long-term goals, but it’s also important to focus on our mission one day at a time. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “How few there are who have the courage to own their faults, and the resolution to mend them.” It would be better to take it slow with permanent results than to go through the motions quickly, become overwhelmed with frustration, and eventually give up.
I’m sorry for what many of you walked through last year, and we know that God is the only one who brings spiritual comfort in times of sorrow. Read John 14:27. I encourage you to think big and believe that nothing is impossible as you consider the old saying, “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.” May we begin each day with gratitude and forgive those who have wronged us. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, as Christ God forgave you.” Let’s laugh more and take the time to consider those around us and how much they mean to us. We have the choice to see the glass half-full and to bring hope and love at a time when the world needs it the most. John Bunyan is quoted as saying, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Our decisions contribute to our destiny and having a clear conscience is the path to living in spiritual contentment. Edith Lovejoy Pierce is quoted as saying, “We will open the book. The pages are blank. We are going to write the words ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
Dr. Billy Holland is a Christian minister, chaplain, and author. To learn more about the Christian life, visit billyhollandministries.com.