January 3rd, 2008

A New Start


photo credit: Craig Jewell

The beginning of a new year finds many people setting “resolutions” in an attempt to start anew and improve some aspect(s) of their lives.

I believe this to be a healthy practice. Certainly we benefit from introspective analysis and renewed aspirations. This is the beauty of repentance and the gospel of Jesus Christ: the ability to change one’s ways and become a new person. It happens over and over again throughout the penitent person’s life, creating continual opportunities to improve.

The downside to such resolutions is the tendency to isolate them into infrequent experiences. Must we wait until January 1 of the following year to overhaul our lives and set goals for improvement? Does such a cyclical pattern help or hinder our progression?

I find a pattern in the Sunday worship of various faiths. Whereas in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it is standard practice to gather weekly to commune with the Saints and renew our baptismal covenants, those of other faiths sometimes isolate their worship to Christ-centered holidays such as Easter and Christmas.

The problem here is the amplification of natural man’s desire to procrastinate. Creating one or two opportunities to change our lifestyle allow us to remain in our errant ways during the rest of the year, content with current practice and cognizant that we’ll set a new goal in a few months or so.

A new start is repeatedly afforded us, if only we take the time to analyze our behavior, ponder where we have room for improvement, and move forward with the help of Him for whom all things are possible.

A new start should not be reserved for yearly tradition, but instead incorporated into weekly life.

2 Responses to “A New Start”

  1. January 3, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Or in many cases, daily life.

  2. January 4, 2008 at 9:52 am #

    In AA (and Al-Anon, which I am more active in) we have the tenth step which reads: “continued to take daily personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”

    I don’t do this very well, but better than I used to.

    I think it’s very hard to get into that mindset that we could be the problem in our lives. Coping with everyday life is a challenge and many of us don’t take the time for reflection.

    I would change your focus to one of reflection because we are so hard on ourselves anyway; however, it bodes one well to look in the mirror every day.

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