1.04.2011

Trampling into a New Decade

The old year quietly slips away as the clock steadily ticks down on December 31. It's an unstoppable transition. I am never very sorry to see it go away. Even if it was a good year, it seems kind of used up and tired by the end, when Baby New Year is ready to get born and the labor pains of New Year's Eve have already kicked in.

Three hundred and sixty-five days (well, 361 now) now stretch out before you like a vast, unexplored territory. You are Lewis and Clark trampling through the underbrush into 2011. You have never been here before. You've already plundered the first 4 days of it, even without Sacajawea's help. Taking down the Christmas decorations was a wilderness experience, but you managed to blaze a trail through your living room nevertheless. And that's something.

Now, you are opening a 365-paged book that only has words written on the first 4 pages.

You are listening to the beginning of a song of 365 measures, just a few notes' worth. Can you name that tune in....five?

You are taking the first few bites of a mystery meal...blindfolded. Steak? Tuna? Beets? Ice Cream?

You are holding your breath as the curtain goes up.

You are a kid on the first day of the school.

You are on your first date with 2011.

Maybe you don't really look at it that way. Maybe it was just another manic Tuesday this morning, not unlike the ones you had last December. Nothing special. Nothing interesting. January sometimes gets a bad rap in all of its gray, wintery, Christmas-aftermath blahs. But whether it feels like it or not, it's actually a very unique time. There is a blank slate in front of us, and the blankness of it is pretty inspiring.

Remember how it felt as a child to be given a NEW box of Crayola crayons, in pristine condition, tips sharpened to perfection and never before used...with an accompanying blank coloring book? It practically cried out to you to fill it. Immediately and with passion. Maybe that's why I snagged the only vacant elliptical trainer at the gym this morning. January 4th is still a new crayon box.

There's nothing like a new year, a new decade even, to lift your spirits. The Lord specializes in newness...His mercies are new every morning. He pours in new wine that fills up new wineskins. He gives a new heart through the new covenant. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation...the old has gone, the new has come.

I am giddy and hopeful on my date with this decade. I'm ready to sing the song that is still unwritten...to turn the pages of the book...to taste the mystery meal, whatever it is.

Here's to the newness of this new year.

Until next time,

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