Our car gleamed in the early morning light as we pointed it north and drove up the freeway. Freshly washed and waxed, the sun’s first rays reflected off the sleek surface as we began our ten-hour trek. It’s become a ritual in our family to begin a driving trip with a clean car. We even have a saying for it: “Clean cars run better.” It seems best to start a long road trip keeping this practice in mind. It’s never failed us yet.
Crossing the border from California into Oregon, a light dusting of snow began to fall. By the time we reached Portland, the grime of the road and the wet weather had dulled the sheen of the once-clean car. It was bound to happen, so why did we bother? Maybe it’s because there is something that feels good about starting fresh.
It could be the reason these words resonate with me:
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV)
Yes, the car got dirty after we washed it, but it was much easier to clean when we got home because the layers of dirt weren’t thick and hadn’t been there long. The same thing is true of our spiritual lives: every morning we get a new day to start again. God’s compassion for us is renewed and He shows His faithfulness. No matter how messy the day before was or how much we messed up, God lets us push the re-start button.
Maybe that’s why we celebrate a New Year. It’s why January First marks the day people resolve to start over and try again. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s never futile to begin anew. Each time, we learn and grow in new ways. Plus, it’s a chance to clear off the grime of past sins before they consume us. When we take time to do spiritual spring-cleaning, to examine our hearts and to receive God’s compassion afresh, we stay more closely aligned with His Spirit. The longer and further we stray, the harder it is to re-engage.
The beginning of a New Year is a great chance to regain lost ground and claim new territory in our walks with God. It’s the time to open a new devotional or to begin reading our Bibles daily. It’s a blank page, just waiting to be filled with new possibilities. If you’re a part of CPC’s Focused Living, you’ll be hearing much more about that as we begin our new study by Priscilla Shirer called One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land. If you’re a regular reader from beyond the group, I’ll be sure to keep it relevant for you.
I can’t wait to start fresh, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
Click on the link to be inspired by Lincoln Brewster’s song: “Made New.”