“It’s something unpredictable. But in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.”—Greenday, ‘Good Riddance’ (The Time of Your Life)
2014 is gone. There are many reasons for which I would love to say, “Good riddance!” Shortcomings, losses, bad decisions, friends in pain or trouble, a sense of unrest, and unmet expectations are a few of my reasons I’m glad the year-gone-by is now history, one for the books. Don’t so many of us wish to scream, “So long, 2014. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!” Much of our lives are spent regretting and ruing what has been. Indeed, we spend too much time in such an arena and would be well served to alter our perspective a bit.
The arbitrary date of the New Year allows us a chance to reflect on the past and lean into the future. It is also a moment in time to honestly assess our life situations. What was unhealthy these past twelve months and what built up my life? What joys and blessings came my way? How did I royally screw up and where did I succeed? This is one of our opportunities to search deeply and move forward with great hope, peace and anticipation. “Time for amendment of life”, is an old phrase I find quite helpful in moments such as this. From the past we may both celebrate the high points and learn from low ones, that we might relish the present moment and cling to future hope.
I have never been one to compile a list of New Year’s Resolutions as most people who make them do not achieve much success. Observations indicate they rarely make it to February. Still we have this opportunity for new beginnings as well as endings of that which diminishes the good of our existence. We consider changes—or ‘amendments of life’, assess what we can control and what we cannot, then boldly step into the new day before us.
Grace, I believe, is an appropriate word for this day. It is grace that grants us a second chance. Grace offers the erasure of past faults and unmet expectations. Grace opens bright new doors and shines light into darkness, especially when we sense shadows of the past threatening to shut down future opportunity. Indeed, grace holds the power to make us new for this day and all that lies ahead.
Hold close the blessings of 2014, and grasp great hope for the year to come. Grace offers a feeling and sense of newness which can carry us through life’s journey. Maybe that is the blessing of New Year’s Day. I do hope you had, and will have, the time of your life.