Driving to work on the second day of the year felt like any other day – except perhaps it felt like a Monday disguised as a Thursday. Long days and early mornings spent bottle feeding new baby goats in the dark before dawn left no one in my household inclined to watch the clock strike midnight and mark the passing of one year and the beginning of another on New Year’s eve. And while we all anxiously anticipate some exciting events in the coming year, the New Year holiday was simply a day to catch up on extra chores. We barely noted the passing of another day much less the passing of a year amidst the busyness of the season, so I was completely unprepared for the question that was presented to me not long after I arrived at work.
“What are your New Year’s resolutions?” The question floated around the Post Office and prompted discussions among the employees. When asked, I had to admit I had not really given any thought to New Year’s resolutions. But as I carried the mail that day, I thought about the question.
“What were my New Year’s resolutions? What decrees or declarations should I make? Were there any promises, pledges, or vows that I could make to ensure my happiness and success in the coming year? ” While I quickly concluded I have no confidence in any resolutions I may make, the questions did make me think about my hopes and plans for the coming year. My self-questions about resolutions turned to questions about goals and dreams. But when I asked myself, “What is my vision for the coming year?” it brought to mind an old hymn. And as I hummed the words, I found the answers to all my questions.
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
While there are no resolutions that can guarantee my success or happiness, I can have confidence in this – I am a sinner saved by grace. What peace and joy is in this assurance! In this I have a guarantee that whatever may befall me in this coming year, whatever successes or failures, whatever wonders or disappointments, my Lord is ever with me. And so as another week of the New Year passes, I find myself still singing and reminding myself that the last lines of this old hymn are the only resolution I need.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.