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Time For a Change
By Jay Cookingham

In my opinion, the New Year’s Eve celebration could really use an upgrade. The whole drop the ball thing has never caught on with me.

Does this really count as a holiday? It doesn’t have any great holiday movies or cartoons to anxiously wait for every year, and "How the Grinch Stole New Years" doesn’t stir up the same emotional response. He doesn’t have to steal it; I’ll gladly give it to him.

As for festive music, there is none, nada. Well, maybe Auld Lang Syne, but I hardly think that qualifies as a song. Just how many people know and understand the words, except for those residing in the Scottish highlands? As a kid I thought people were singing "Old Hanging Sign," and I wasn’t sure why they wanted to remember it.

Maybe if we just had one of them I could enjoy it more, but there are too many of them to count. There is the Jewish New Year, the Chinese New Year, The Muslim and Ethiopian New Year. There is actually a New World Order New Year – none of which fall on the same date. Exactly when does this gig start anyway?

Now, nothing really happens when the stroke of midnight occurs. It’s not like we shed our skin or anything (wouldn’t that be something!). Still we make a huge deal over this calendar-flipping event. We make resolutions, we try to break old bad habits and start new more positive ones. We plan and we dream – all this motivation because of the arrival of a new year. Why?

In all seriousness, deep down all people need to know they can have a fresh start. That is the purpose of a new year in our lives. We need the hope the Father provides through a new year. He speaks and breathes life in the promise that it brings. He uses it to teach us that the failures of the past year are nothing in comparison of what we can be in Him. He changes our focus from the past to a brighter future, filled with the knowledge of Him.

A new day, a new year, the way we measure our passage through time, can either freeze us with fear or free us to move mountains. A new year was fashioned for us as a reminder of the purpose for our lives; to help redefine, with clarity, our walk with Him.

It repositions our eyesight towards Kingdom things and off our temporal situations.

This fixture of time identifies a place for us, calling us on to greater things. A starting place, a remembrance place, a launching place, and a place of marking – this defines a New Year for us. Speaking from this place is a declaration of trust in the new beginnings of God.

When the Father calls your name throughout this New Year; I pray that you would hear Him clearer than ever before. As He builds hope in you, stirs up faith in you and brings you closer to His heart, your new year will take on a greater dimension. There is purpose in us and purpose for us – just think what a New Year this can be!

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On an Historical Note:

AULD LANG SYNE was at least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's. However, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. An old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."
Jay Cookingham is a freelance writer whose work is featured on father Ville.com, believe.com, cross map.com and Christian writers.com. Married to his wife, Christine, for 22 years, they have seven children blessing their home. You can write to Jay through the Letters page of this magazine.