Your problems don’t know it’s a New Year
Do trees know a new year is beginning? Do animals? What about babies? New Year is in fact the product of human traditions. So much so that in our Gregorian calendar, it falls on January 1st. In the Jewish calendar, it ranges from September 5th to October 5th. The Chinese New Year falls between January 21st to February 20th. It seems that New Year’s Day depends on where and in which culture you were born.
Customs people observe during this holiday season, and the resulting atmosphere they create, make people believe that, as if by magic, the change of calendar year will bring positive changes to their lives.
“Happy New Year” to me, is the most annoying. It’s like a social obligation. If you don’t comply, it’s like there is something wrong with you. “He didn’t wish me a Happy New Year. What’s wrong with him?” Is it just me or doesn’t anyone see that wishing a Happy New Year has never made a difference in anyone’s life? It has never brought more health, more money, more happiness, or anything else. But the pressure is so strong that every year I still find myself letting out one or two “Happy New Year’s”, just so people won’t think I’m an E.T.
Then there are the fireworks — to me, the height of foolishness and disrespect for those who prefer a regular night’s sleep. A visual spectacle, no doubt. Practical use? None.
Someone will say, “But these celebrations don’t hurt anyone. Life would be boring without them. Don’t be a killjoy!”
I am not against parties. If you read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, you will see that God is the biggest party animal ever. Sometimes I wonder how the Jewish people did any work at all, with so many feasts throughout the year. However, those feasts had a spiritual background, reminiscent of some past event that God didn’t want His people to forget. Even so, as people moved away from God, these parties became traditions and outlets of human lust, as God Himself said:
I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. (Amos 5:21) Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. (Isaiah 1:14)
The essence of these words, and the context in which God spoke them, meant to express this thought:
What good are your parties, food and drink, music and dancing — if you don’t do what is right?
Your problems, challenges, and dreams don’t know it’s a New Year. They go on, indifferent to the calendar — unless you decide to do what is right, what needs to be done to overcome and achieve them.
Instead of wishing a “Happy New Year”, fireworks, wearing white, and all the rest of it, make courageous decisions to change your life; do what needs to be done; and be committed to the changes you want to see.
The day you do this — be it January 1st, May 24th, August 7th … — is the day your New Year will begin.