My 12-year-old son asked me this weekend why the new year was such a big deal. He seemed to think it was just a change of the calendar.
I had to think a minute as we drove. I finally told him that the new year did give people the chance to think about starting over.
Even a new day offers new opportunities. I didn’t used to think so.
However, recently my pastor reminded me of the passage in Lamentations which says,”The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning…”
There is truly something mystical about a new day. A new morning is a little like what Forrest Gump said about chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.
I suppose this quality of each day is what made the movie “Groundhog Day” so interesting. Bill Murray wakes up every day in the same town on the same date, with the same set of circumstances. It is he that makes the different scenarios of each day different.
I wasn’t particularly excited about this specific new day in this early part of the new year. I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed. I felt tired, a little nauseous, and didn’t really want to leave slumberland.
I had some vague memories of some weird dreams over night. I was a little achy. Plus, a lot of things in my current life are broken and need fixing.
But, I got out of bed. I needed to take my kids to school.
Some wise person said “life is so daily”. This has been one of those days thus far. It’s been rather mundane.
I have been wanting to write something all day, but haven’t been able to get my thoughts together, even as I write this. This posting today is somewhat stream of consciousness in nature.
Somehow, despite this rather colorless day, I know this new year isn’t the same as the old year. Every new day, year, century and age, whether we deem it good or bad, brings at least one thing: change.
Sometimes the change is quite pronounced. I was doing a little Bible study recently and noted, for example, how important the deportation and subsequent long term exile of the people of Israel to Babylon were to biblical history.
The exile changed the language of the people, so much so that the book Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) contains loan words from Persian, Greek and Aramaic. Even the sentence length and word order is different from the earlier Hebrew.
The exile is also noted in the geneaology of Jesus Christ. It seems to be a benchmark in the lineage of the Messiah found in the Gospel of Matthew.
Even in the modern day, events can rapidly change language. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 influenced slang among American high schoolers, for instance. At 8 am Eastern Daylight time in the USA on September 11, 2001, life in general, not just the language, was quite different than it was a couple of hours later.
Profound events can also happen on a personal level which alter our future. In my case, I came home on an October morning in the recently departed year to learn that a doctor’s office wanted me to call them NOW.
I made that call, and learned that I had a serious disease. It is under control these days, and in my opinion doesn’t define me, but it is a factor in my decisionmaking and future.
You hope for more good days than that one. Maybe “mundane” isn’t so bad after all.
I guess each day is what you make it. The rest of this day, year, and century (what’s left of it for me) doesn’t have to be commonplace. If I put my mind to it, perhaps I could even affect my era.
In any case, the possibilities are what make each new sunrise worth getting excited about. I am preaching to myself on this bleak winter day of the new year. Maybe I can get ready for and influence tomorrow’s happenings today.
The potentialities bring to mind a TV series from the last decade. It was a show called “Early Edition”. Here’s how the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) introduces it:
” His name is Gary Hobson. He gets tomorrow’s newspaper today. He doesn’t know how. He doesn’t know why. All he knows is when the early edition hits his doorstep, he has twenty-four hours to set things right.”
Further, here’s the storyline from the same source:
“What would you do if tomorrow’s paper came to your door today? If you knew that you were going to die? Be lucky in love unlucky in life? That’s what Gary Hobson has to ask himself every day. Gary Hobson is a stockbroker that got fired from his job and his wife found him uninteresting and kicked him out. You see it’s quite simple. Everyday an orange cat comes to his door with the paper (a Chicago Sun Times). Gary doesn’t know where it comes from. He did a bit of research and found out that a man named Lucis Snow, was an old typesetter and he had the paper before Gary. The day after Snow died, the paper came to Gary. Gary has two friends. Chuck Fishman, who has been best buds with Gary since college. Chuck wants Gary to give him the scores of games, winning lotto numbers, stocks, or even soap opera tips. Marrisa is Gary’s blind friend who helps Gary make all the right choices.”
I may not get tomorrow’s newspapers today, but I can read enough of the tea leaves presently to know how I can positively or negatively influence my world tomorrow.
I have my own orange cats, my own warning signs, which give me at least a hint of what’s coming. In my case they include the Bible.
I also have my own “Marissas”. There are people out there who can help me to make right choices with what I already know.
Hmmm. Today may not be so boring after all. I have a lot to do today now — important and possibly life changing activities.
I had better get busy. have to get ready for tomorrow.