Sunday, December 28, 2014

Why Granny Needed a Man -- New Years Reflections

By Lori Hatcher

In honor of the new year and the upcoming 105th anniversary of my grandmother's birth, I thought I'd share this popular post  from 2012.

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My granny was a quirky little Portuguese lady with a big laugh and a love for coffee. Every January 1 she'd call my dad and ask him to come to her house. "If a man is the first person to walk through my door on New Year's Day," she'd say, "I'll  have good luck all year." 

I often wondered what would have happened if one of her female friends knocked on her door before dad arrived. I suspect she'd have left them sitting on her frozen Rhode Island stoop.

Granny had another superstition concerning New Year's Day. "Whatever you do on New Year's," she'd say with a shake of her prophetic finger, "you'll do the rest of the year." I was really concerned the year the toilet overflowed and the oven caught fire. If her prophecy was true, things did not bode well for the other 364 days of that year.

While I don't send my husband out the front door only to turn around and walk back in to secure luck for another year, I often think about my granny's second pronouncement.

"What you do on New Year's Day, you'll do the rest of the year."

Overflowing toilets notwithstanding, the first day of each year sets the tone for the other 364. I'm not a fan of resolutions, because they leave little room for failure. I favor goals instead. They're much more gracious.

If you're like me and can look back over resolutions you've made and broken, or goals you've set and failed to accomplish, take heart. You're in good company.

I suspect the apostle Paul made and broke a few New Year's resolutions, too. Why else would he have written, "Forgetting those things that are behind, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus"?  (Philippians 3:13).

When Paul "forgot" the past, however, he didn't forget the lessons he learned. He just didn't let those failures define him. He didn't allow the failures of his past to prevent him from starting over.

"Let the past sleep," writes Oswald Chambers, "but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ."

As we begin the new year, I invite you to do three things with me:

1. Trust God with the past, knowing that he will cause all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

2.  Set new goals that will help you to draw closer to God and become more like him in the coming year.

3. Begin today. In the words of my little granny, "What you do on New Year's Day, you'll do all year long." 

I pray your new year is filled with good, God-honoring activities.

I'd love to hear about the goals the Lord leads you to set for the new year. Leave a comment below and join in the conversation. 

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