The ball (or in our case here in Raleigh—an acorn) has dropped.
Confetti litters the ground.
Kisses have been exchanged.
The kids are finally in bed.
Now what? The mountain of a new year looms.
For some, the anticipation of it is thrilling and palpable. For others, dread and heaviness grip the heart. Memories of loss and past failures cast a pall. There are those who will lace up new shoes and go for the first run of the year or head to their new gym to get in the first of many sets or get out their new planner and begin laying out plans and dreaming of how organized this year will be. Others will curl up in bed or on a couch and linger there—silently wishing they could freeze time and just not have to climb another mountain of broken promises and disappointment.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes that he had tried it all and seen it all.
He had visited both ends of the spectrum and followed every path known to man.
1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor.
Year after year; season after season; experience after experience; Solomon reflects on everything and concludes…
12:8 Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity (hollow, empty, unsatisfying).
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with setting goals, making resolutions, and striving to improve, but the harsh truth is that
There will always be something else to strive for and seek after; to capture our hearts and attention; to drive us. And while it may be new to us, there is nothing new under the sun. It has all been pursued before.
1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
At the end of it all, Solomon reminisces about the only pursuit that lasts and can bring contentment.
As we begin this new year, let’s commit ourselves to this old resolution…
12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
This resolution alone will provide the foundation and framework for us to face each day with contentment and to deal with life’s constantly changing challenges.
God’s Word and His commandments will never change.
Let us resolve to keep those first.
(This was first published on the Friendship Baptist Church website, the ministry affiliated with FCS.)