Making All Things New
I’m not one to make a big deal about New Year’s resolutions, but there’s something about a fresh start that appeals to me. I appreciate the prompt to refresh and renew. I enjoy setting new goals and working toward new challenges.
This year I want to get rid of stuff. Somehow more stuff keeps finding its way into our lives and our home. It adds up quickly, and soon I feel overrun by all the stuff around me. Some days I can look beyond it and keep going. Eventually, though, I notice again that it’s still there, seemingly everywhere.
My eyes focus on all the stuff even more after I’ve had a brief break from it. That can come in the form of a geographical break, like a short trip out of town, or a mental distraction, like a project that has demanded my attention for a while or a schedule that has kept me busier than usual. In either case, when I return to a more normal routine, all the stuff around me rolls back into focus.
I’ve noticed that it’s not only the physical stuff that fills the rooms in our home, but also the intangible things in life that fill the space in my mind and my heart. Just as a physical break helps reset my mind, spending quality time with other people helps reset my focus on what truly matters in life. I begin to see again what I value most and what merely clutters my thoughts and my time. I need to get rid of that stuff too. It steals my focus from my relationship with God and how he teaches me through scripture to love my family, my friends and my community.
I find hope in the words of Revelation 21. God speaks of the new heaven and the new earth that will come. We consider the turn of a new year to be a fresh start, but it doesn’t even compare to the new beginning God promises his people. “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5 ESV) he tells us. That’s exciting! As we begin 2022 together, let’s try together to keep getting rid of the old stuff that distracts us and gets in the way. Let’s focus instead on the renewal God promises and on pursuing that. That sounds like a good goal for me and for all of us. Happy new year! - Kathy Raines, Minister of Administration