A clean slate for the new year

By Ken Kettering

Happy New Year, everyone! Isn’t it great that we get to start over each year? Wipe clean the slate of our lives, learn from our failures, and leave behind what weights us down to move forward into another calendar year, resolving to do better, be better.

Let’s admit it, though, the problem with “resolving” is that usually the things we “resolve” to do for the coming year are things that we’ve never done before or haven’t done in ages, things we have no real purpose for doing, no real desire to do, no real knowledge of how to do, no real plan for accomplishment, no real support group to do them with, and no real will power to keep us doing them. And then we wonder why we can’t gain any momentum and even get to Day 3!

According to author Napoleon Hill, without all of the aforementioned things, we’ll lack persistence and be defeated before we even start.

I read a few days ago that “New Year’s resolutions go in one year and out the other.” Made me laugh. But seems pretty true, don’t you agree?

So, what’s the point, you say? Why try?

Well, even though God might be humored by our nativity concerning what it actually takes to accomplish resolutions and change behavior and habits, I believe He’s pleased that we even try.

God is for us, not against us, according to Romans 8:31, and His love keeps us connected to Him, and His Spirit and Word help us to do His will and make this world a better place, bringing Him glorify in the process. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

When I read verses like “Your life is but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14) and “Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1), I’m reminded that today is all that we really have. We may not have another year. So, instead of looking ahead and declaring resolutions for the entire year of 2019, maybe we should just focus on TODAY. Helping a stranger today; forgiving a friend today; paying it forward today; loving our family today.

Or, better yet, since the moments we find ourselves in are REALLY the only thing we have, let’s resolve to do these things moment by moment.

Maybe this is where the secret to being better and doing better lay, in the moments. We can all do good things for a moment or two, can’t we? Maybe the secret to fulfilling our New Year’s resolutions lies not in focusing on each year or even each day, but each moment. And moments, where, instead of putting ourselves at the center, our moments are focused on God and others.

Author Matthew Kelly calls these moment, Holy Moments. A Holy Moment is “the moment when you are being the person God created you to be, and you are doing what you believe God is calling you to do in that moment. It’s an instant when you set aside self-interest, personal desire, and what you feel like doing or would rather be doing, and embrace what you believe will bring the most good to the most people in that moment.”

Wow! Wouldn’t we and the world around us all be better if Holy Moments were our focus? Let’s scrap our New Year’s resolutions this year about ourselves (which we all struggle to keep anyway), and let’s live in the moment—Holy Moments—resolving to bless our families, churches, and community.


By Ken Kettering

Ken Kettering is Afternoon Drive Host, 93.7 WFCJ, a ministry of Strong Tower Christian Media and guest columnist.

Ken Kettering is Afternoon Drive Host, 93.7 WFCJ, a ministry of Strong Tower Christian Media and guest columnist.