December 30, 2020
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
It’s a new year soon! The time of year we turn our attention forward, and look for fresh, new beginnings! But sadly, it can be a stressful time, too, if our focus falls too much on our usual “New Years” trappings: resolutions, paying the Christmas bills, starting fitness club memberships, vowing diet changes, trying so hard to establish new habits, and so on. Many of us will be striving to somehow be “better” than we were last year. Our culture is obsessed with our performance in life.
But here’s a (hopefully) less stressful idea: How about starting the year by simply pondering what God is doing, like Mary did?
Think for a moment what Mary experienced over the past year! She and her fiancé were each visited by an angel, prophesying she will be made pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The child will be the long-awaited Messiah. She sees amazing things occurring with her relative Elizabeth and her new baby John. And then after all the difficult circumstances of Mary’s delivery in Bethlehem, shepherds arrive telling them they saw a “multitude” of angelic beings praising God and proclaiming the Savior’s birth!
(If you were in Mary’s sandals, do you think you might spend just a little time wondering what the heck God was up to?)
The New Year vows and resolutions we make to be “better” are not bad of themselves, of course. It’s good to strive to be more than we are today, and to live more as God intends. But rather than worry too much about your own performance this year, how about spending some time considering God’s? What has He done for you recently? What prayers has He answered this past year? How has He sustained you through these difficult times? What big things has He done to keep you afloat? And how many small things has He done the same? Have you allowed yourself to be a bit forgetful of God’s work during this chaotic year? Or, like Mary, are you “treasuring up” the wonderful ways He’s led you, taught you, protected you and provided for you, not only this past year but over the course of your entire life?
Recalling and pondering the wonderful works of God and His indescribable goodness might just be the best way to start your new year off right!