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So. Most of us have probably digested our holiday meals, consumed the last of the Christmas cakes, pies, and cookies, returned home from our visits to family and friends, or returned to our at-home routines after visits from them. We have rung in the New Year, packed away the trees, decorations, lights, and gifts; and here we are in 2014! Now what?
There was a time when New Year’s resolutions were popular. But nowadays, I hear more people declaring that they do not make resolutions than I hear talking about making them. Honestly, I never had much success at sticking to them. By the end of January, in most cases, I had given up on them. So I am among those who did not make any New Year’s resolutions this year, except one - the same one I’ve made every year for as long as I can remember.
The New Year is my very favorite holiday. That may seem strange for a pastor to say. I think most of my colleagues might choose Christmas or Easter. I am certainly grateful for those High Holy Days and all that they represent. My very favorite holiday, though, is New Year’s - both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
As New Year’s Eve approaches, I automatically start looking back over the outgoing year. I review good times and bad times, assess my progress toward achieving long-term goals, and just take stock of where I am in all aspects of my life; with particular attention to where I am relative to where I was at the beginning of the year.
This year, overall, has been one for the books! I entered this year in Connecticut, having resigned the pastorate of MCC-New Haven at the end of 2011, and having just heard, toward the end of 2012, that there would be a pastoral vacancy at Imani. I was praying, fervently, for God to open the door here for me, if that was consistent with God’s will. I missed Durham. No offense intended to the great people I met in Connecticut. It’s just one of those “heart wants what it wants” things.