I love the beginning of a new year because there’s such potential to hope for what the year ahead will bring – and perhaps more to the point to hope for what I might bring to the new year. But the opposite of not fulfilling the resolutions and maybes of the new year isn’t, for me, disappointment but realism! I come up with all sorts of ways I’d love to change and improve as the new year chimes its beginning but fortunately God seems to accept the me I am more readily than I do, and though I’m sure he sees change along the way, he doesn’t expect wild improvements overnight! But what’s good about these ambititions is that even when I’ve managed to trip up by the 3rd of January and not become that mix of Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, John Sentamu, St. Peter and Jesus that I was aiming for – there have been little victories*! Perhaps more connection with my God, perhaps a literary book read, or some more theology studied, perhaps some little unseen kindnesses or a bit more generosity achieved. Perhaps a bit more order from the unfiled chaos, creativity in preaching, some letters written to friends or good time spent with Teenson? I know I can’t change overnight, but as the new year gets underway I can have a little look at how God sees me already and then aim high and hope in him. Little victories – because he’s already won the big one!
*Fletcher of ‘Porridge’ fame was heard to advise new inmates to the fictional Slade prison not to try and beat the system but look for “little victories” to get them through their time – a great expression!