Here we are then, another year. I have never been one to get caught up in the whole ideology of New Years. In my mind just because a date changes does not mean that we as people do. There is not a magical force that on the first of January each year gives people the ability to change. This can be seen in the limited success of resolutions. New years do remind me of something though, and that something is how short life really is. In the moment you think all these things will last forever, good or bad, when the reality is this is only a small iota of the scale of everything, not to mention what is to come. As a Christian this thought does two things, first gives unending gratitude for the eternal implications that accompany being in Christ and second this time I am given is not only limited, but also my not my own. We live in a culture where YOLO (you only live once) like attitudes of apathy and selfishness flood societies worldview. You only live once so you might as well do whatever you want right? This works if you believe there is nothing beyond this life or if you do believe in something beyond this life what you do now does little to impact it. As I look at my life even I can see where I was so much of it. How dare we bicker and complain about problems within the church/culture when we ourselves are willing to do little about it?! I am twenty six now, almost twenty seven, and looking back it all goes so quickly. What does it take to follow Christ and how far are we willing to actually go for what we believe? Many of us have been given so much that we take for granted. God has made us able people with just as able minds. The question is are we using or squandering them. I know in my life there is so much knowledge and experience that he has given me in which I do nothing with. Not that there aren’t things I could do with it, but things that I just do not. I recently taught as part of a class final and at one session at camp on Philippians 4:8-9 on what it means to “think on these things” then to “practice these things.”
Philippians 4:8-9 ESV- “ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Here we see Paul giving an exhortation to not just think, but to do. We must first think. I strongly believe that how we think will always impact how we act. A majority of humanities actions have stemmed from attempting consistency between what they think and how they act. I can easily depress myself by dwelling on the hardships of life while listening to Radiohead, but on the other end can be uplifted by thinking on the truth of God. Anybody can think about things, it is putting them into practice though which brings those things full circle. If you wanted to learn about perseverance are you going to listen to someone who has in life persevered through tough things, or who has turn and run/only know perseverance by theory? Paul was a man who lived by what he thought by, and to this day still impacts us with his life and words.
If we want to shed away a life of apathy, a life of merely existing, we have to be thinkers just as much as doers. The minds and lives He has given us are not just for us to know but to make Him known and impact others as well. More and more I am becoming a cynic over Christian apparel that is meant “start questions about the faith.” If you have to wear a shirt or some form of apparel that says you are a Christian, what does that say about how your faith does not speak for itself? If Christ, if theism, is truly what we know and our worldview should that now be seen in the very things we do.
As we move into a new year may we strive to better understand ourselves and who we truly are because of Christ. As we allow Him to transform our lives He will work through us to transform others. A new year does not mean a new life especially for those who are a new creation. May we not look to a new year for vain attempts to change, but let us allow Him to continue doing transforming work in our actions and in our mind on a consistent basis. Our passion for transformation should be a life long resolution, not a mere whim that comes once a year. The reality is that we will not always succeed, but as I have always firmly believed, in Christ we can learn as much from our failures as what we can successes. Let us live with an eternal mindset in the day to day and focus on what He wants to do where we are at instead of being distracted by where we are going.