Jaime Cullum is a sensational lyricist. In the track "Next Year, Baby" of his 2004 album Twentysomething he sings:
Next year, things are gonna change [...]
Gonna read more books,
Gonna keep up with the news,
Gonna learn how to cook,
And spend less money on shoes.
He then goes on, with hilarious candor:
Will I do any of these things?
The answer's probably no.
We tend to make our New Year's resolutions with the knowledge and acceptance, deep down, that we will not uphold them for long. But we still make them, because they are an opportunity to, if only for a few weeks, live in the hope that we will one day be more like we want to be.
We become determined to finally rid ourselves of our addictions and bad habits, replace them with constructive ones, and make more time on top of that for the things that matter.
We suspect that as January fades into February and our determination lessens, we will find ourselves once more couch 'potato-ing' in front of Keeping Up With the Kardashians while mindlessly chewing through a packet of chips, but we nonetheless want to believe this year will finally be different.
In this newspaper, you might read stories of people who were instantly and permanently rid of their addictions and bad habits and encountered a more peaceful, purpose-driven, and happier life – and not even at New Year's.
It's not that these things suddenly became easy. It's that they had help and a reason beyond themselves to achieve their goals and live a better life.
They realised they have a Heavenly Father who loves them and wants them to experience the eternal freedom, peace, joy and love he offers freely.
They also realised that if they only turned to God and focused on His goodness and His love they would have the strength to face their weaknesses. And when they made a mistake, they were forgiven and free to try again – not next year, but right now.
A fresh start. A blank slate. A new opportunity to walk in the salvation and deliverance they had been given.
New Year's resolutions are near impossible to stick to when we try to do so in our own strength. Good thing we have a loving God to pick us up when we fall and see us through every step, right until the end. •