The new year calls us to contemplate our lives, to reflect upon the past, and to make resolutions for how we will live into the future. By now, many of us have already broken our resolutions — eaten that dessert we said we wouldn't eat, slept through gym time, stayed that extra hour after work even when we promised to spend more time with the family, or smoked the last cigarette for the umpteenth time.
Or perhaps you have found yourself empowered by the first week of the new year, living into your hopes and dreams and seeing the budding fruits of your efforts: a pound lost, a chapter written, a movie watched, a book read, or an extra dollar saved! It is important to take these opportunities to check in and begin again if necessary. Congratulate yourself for the progress and forgive yourself for the setbacks.
After all, that's how God works. We've been given this incredible gift of life and the resolve to live it to its fullest. God offers us the energy to sustain us when we might doubt our own abilities. God rejoices with us in life's celebrations and mourns with us in life's disappointments.