“And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.”
It has become a tradition of mine to wake up early on the morning of January 1st to watch the first sunrise of the year. The idea was taken from a manga comic I used to read in my teens. Something about waking up early in the frigid morning and watching the pale colors creep across the sky until the golden-orange sphere peeks above the horizon fascinates me. The brisk wind rushing through my hair gives me a sense of renewal. The canvas of the sky seems fresh with new beginnings and hopes. I’m excited for this year and everything that it will present me.
Adventure and challenges. Trials and victories. Lessons and growth. Most of all – starting over, getting a clean slate.
Many people love the start of the new year because they feel they get another chance to perhaps do better or be better than they did or were the previous year. The only way to properly do so, however, is to take the time to reflect on and study the past. Before I stepped outside into the twilight, I spent the night reviewing the year gone by. I had kept a jar filled with my successes, happy moments, and blessings from God. One by one, I read the notes I had written to myself over the past year, remembering each of those happy and delightful moments. Those moments, however, also caused me to recall some of my less joyful memories. Things I had struggled with, cried about, and struggled with God. By processing each moment, good and bad, I came to the conclusion the notes were meant to lead me towards – God had been with me all the way.
My faith was increased by reviewing my past and remembering how God had lead me in times of joy and times of sorrow. My greatest resolution is to dedicate each coming day to His service. It was only because of this that I was able to lift my face to greet the morning with a peace and assurance that this year God would again be with me at all times, in all places, and during all situations. Without fear or worry, I can look to the future, for God is with me.
In the Jewish tradition, a day starts first at the sunset and then continues into the sunrise. This was understood from the words above, repeated six times in Genesis 1. Each day, then, could be seen as a representation of God bringing us out of darkness into light just as He did when He created the earth. Each day we can have a new slate. Each day we can start anew. When we dedicate ourselves to God, He will use us for His purposes. He will lead us to where we need to go, tell us what we need to know, and show us what we need to see.
Perhaps the last year wasn’t the greatest of years for you. Perhaps, even now, you are still struggling with things you feel are out of your control. If you desire a clean slate, a fresh start, look to God. Not just on this, the first day of the new year, but every day. Dedicate yourself, no matter how messy you feel your life is, to Him and watch Him work wonders. He has promised to take you from darkness to light. Trust in Him, for He is ever with you.
Lift your face, its time to greet the morning.