A Clean Slate?

I’m not sure there is an authentic definition for “clean slate” but we use the phrase a lot. It basically means a fresh start, putting the past behind us, an opportunity to start over, a second chance. I didn’t hear one New Year’s resolution this holiday season, but typically we all end up resolving to do better in the new year…we will lose weight, we will get a better job, we will save money, be kinder, finish that planned project, read our Bible more…it’s a good time to make promises to ourselves and to others. But oh, how hard it is to follow through. We can’t change overnight. And that’s what the changing of the calendar is, just from one day to another. Our problems, concerns and troubles just seem to carry over to the next day, the next year.
God’s word tells us “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11). It’s good for us to make plans, but how often do our plans remain only that… plans? God has great plans for us. Oh, I don’t know what they are, exactly, but His word tells me I can hope in Him. There is a song we used to sing in church… “Something beautiful, something good, all my confusion, He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful out of my life.” Many times, our own plans for our lives get in the way of God’s plans. Paul said to the Romans (7:15) “For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate to do…” Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves…we slip back into our old habits, day after day, no matter how hard we try to “turn over a new leaf.”
So, today we are all putting up our new, clean calendars… the clean slate. We all have regrets from the past 365 days. But we can put those behind us, one day at a time. If we look at all we want to accomplish in the new year, we will be overwhelmed. Oh, it’s good to write down goals and work for them, but let’s allow God’s word and His Spirit to guide us – day by day. Here’s a prayer I saw yesterday in Dorothy Valcarcel’s devotional website, Transformation Garden…
"Lord, I have time,
I have plenty of time,
All the time that You give me,
The years of my life,
The days of my years,
The hours of my days,
They are all mine.
Mine to fill, quietly, calmly,
But to fill completely, up to the brim,
To offer them to You, that of their insipid water
You may make a rich wine such
As You made once in Cana of Galilee."
Michel Quoist I leave you with that, and best wishes for a Happy and blessed New Year.
Excerpted from "Morning Celebrations"