Welcome to 2014.

Yep, it’s a New Year and with it, for me, comes a new blog.  I have never blogged – in fact I’m not really sure of all the expectations of blogging.  But our reworked website has a blog area, so here we go. My goal is to be somewhat thought provoking and hopefully entertaining at the same time.  No promises of what or how often I’ll be writing (I am shooting for once a week), but here we go.

Staying up to watch the Time Square ball drop Tuesday evening (yep, I made it past midnight!), the host of one network’s New Year’s Eve party said they were about to usher in a New Year “of promise and hope.”  I have always been amazed at the high expectations of things being different just because we flip the calendar to a new year.

Now I don’t want to be a wet blanket on the New Year’s celebration.  I get the New Year, fresh start, great expectations concept.  A new year is a great time to reflect and refocus.  And yes, we should always look for a brighter future.  But here are some of the questions that come to my mind:  What is the basis of such optimism?  Does “promise and hope” come just from flipping the calendar into a new year?

Promise and hope is only as good as the source.   Changing the last two numbers of the date from ’13 to ’14 really doesn’t change anything about me, my life, my attitudes, my hang-ups, my circumstances, my dreams or my ambitions.  And most significantly, there is nothing inherent  in a new year that can impact me, my life, my attitudes, my hang-ups, my circumstances, my dreams or my ambitions.

I am reminded of the movie “Groundhog Day” when Phil the weatherman (played by Bill Murray) wakes up each morning hoping for a new day and fresh start only to find that it’s just another rerun of yesterday.  Believing that a new year will get us out of the same old, same old just because it’s a new year is just wishful thinking.  Is promise and hope merely wishful thinking, or something to be expected?

For those with a Christian world-view, the answer is that promise and hope is rooted in the God we love and serve, and most importantly, the God who loves us perfectly.  So, as you enter into this New Year,  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13).