Moment-to-moment progress

When I was a little girl, my brother and I were always allowed to stay up past our normal bedtime on New Year’s Eve. A few minutes before midnight, guests and family members each went to the kitchen cabinet, chose a pot and lid, and waited with bated breath for the clock to strike midnight. Standing on the front porch we then banged the pots and lids together as loudly as we could to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Up and down the street, neighbors were doing the same thing. As the din diminished, we all sat quietly and made our New Year’s resolutions. 

I remember the excitement and promise of a “fresh start.” But that earnest resolve often faded as quickly as the festivities died down and the day-to-day routine resumed on January 2. Starting with a desire to do better, my resolutions, a list of “don’t dos” and “won’t dos,” often involved self-imposed limitations. On one hand, it was easy to think of the change in the calendar year like a big “do over,” as if by magic I could erase the errors of the past without the spiritual growth that would effect a permanent and lasting change. On the other hand, as I met resistance to sticking to my resolutions in the new year, I chalked it up to the belief that change must naturally take time and is inherently difficult.

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You can be made new—now!
December 31, 2012
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