A new year is here!
Not just a new year – a new decade. Somehow, it seems impossible to think that the 2010s are behind us. I don’t know about you, but I still think of 2007 as being five years ago, not 13. And 2015? That was like two years ago, right?
But impossible or not, 2020 is here. And, as with every new year, for most people it probably started with resolutions. Losing weight, going to the gym, spending more time with friends and family, or reading one’s Bible from start to finish are common resolutions that we make at the start of a year.
Most years I don’t bother with resolutions. My philosophy has always been that if I want to make a change, I should make it now, rather than waiting for the start of a new year. Why put it off? But as the end of 2019 approached, I noticed something about myself that I realized I wanted to change.
2019 was a year of firsts for me.
- In February I proposed to my girlfriend.
- In March I left my dad’s church for the first time ever to follow God’s will in aiding a ministry at Oak Park Baptist Church.
- In June I signed a contract for my first fiction novel to be published.
- In July I went to my first SOAR conference.
- In August I started teaching a Sunday night youth class.
- In October my fiancée and I were married.
- In November we celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a married couple.
- In December we celebrated our first Christmas and New Year’s as a married couple.
But as 2019 passed, I realized that I was so focused on those “firsts” that I had trained my mind to always be looking forward to the next big thing. Because of that, I sometimes missed out on the average days in between.
So, going into 2020, my resolution was to seize every day. I don’t want to just look forward to the next big thing. I don’t want to miss out on the days in between. If I do that, then I’d be wishing my life away before my eyes. Life is short as it is. I want to take every day as it comes.
Seizing every day comes in two parts:
The first is to make the most of every opportunity. Ephesians 5:16 warns us to make “the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” This means that we should take advantage of every opportunity presented to us. In context of this verse, it means taking every opportunity to serve God.
How often do we miss opportunities that he presents us just because we’re not paying attention to the here and now? God doesn’t tell us to serve him on Sundays or on holidays or when our church just had a revival and we’re spiritually fired up. We are to serve him every day, taking every opportunity.
In addition to serving God, we can seize opportunities in other areas in our life. If you make a resolution to go to the gym every day this year, don’t worry about going to the gym next week. Worry about going today. If you made a resolution to read the whole Bible in a year, concentrate on reading the verses you have planned for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Seize today.
The second part is to simply enjoy the little things. As I looked forward to my wedding, or to our first Christmas, how many little moments did I miss? I can’t go back to those moments to enjoy them more. What I can do is enjoy the next one as it comes, keeping my focus on the here and now.
Whatever your resolutions are, don’t forget to enjoy the day. We only have so many. We shouldn’t waste them on waiting for the next big thing. Thank God for each day that comes. Take joy in the little things.
It would be a great start to a new decade.