A Year Full of Days
By Kirsten Oliphant
New Year’s Day began not with resolutions, but with little voices waking me from a short sleep: “Mommy, breakfast.”
Many of us are familiar with the cycle of life with small children. Wake, feed, clothe, clean, play, teach, feed, clean, play, pray, sleep. Wake and repeat. For the working mothers, it’s the same cycle with a long workday as well. Perhaps there might be a few moments to do other things when the children are in school or sleeping, but generally, my days feel like a very small circle repeating over and over again.
With the beginning of a new year, I am overwhelmed—a year is such a long span of time when each day holds so many small things. I feel like I’ve failed before I have begun. I want to live intentionally and have goals, but 365 days stretch endless before me.
So, how about just one day?
The Bible speaks much about living daily. “Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus taught the disciples to pray (Matthew 6:11). And: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” (Matthew 6:34). In the desert God provided manna for the Israelites, but only enough for each day. If they gathered extra to save, it would spoil overnight. Lamentations tells us that the Lord’s compassions never fail, but are new every morning (3:22-23).
I find great comfort in these verses. There is grace in the start of each new day—enough to last for that day. God wants us to depend on him daily, to receive his mercy fresh each morning. We can trust in the faithfulness of God’s daily provisions and do not need to add worry about tomorrow.
While many of us see January 1st as the time for a fresh start, maybe we need to think smaller. Each day is the gift of a fresh start. Yesterday’s failures or tomorrow’s challenges need not apply. Lord, give us this day.
There is nothing wrong with long-term goals or planning. But maybe we often overlook the grace available each day. If I live for some future event, a tomorrow or a next week, what might I miss today?
So if I do have a resolution for this year, it would be to that my year and months and weeks would be made up of single days, each colored with the grace God offers new each morning.
Kirsten Oliphant lives in Houston, where her husband is the youth director at Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church. When not wrangling her two young boys, she spends time writing, blogging, and playing roller derby. Read her blog www.stillhatepickles.com
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