In a couple of days, the sun will set on 2019 and 2020 will dawn. Whether it is rational or not, it is part of our experience in much of Western culture to feel a small dose of extra hope when we reflect on the year to come. We cannot help but think, “Who knows what good might come my way in the upcoming year?” There is nothing wrong or anti-Christian about having such thoughts. A renewed sense of hope is wonderful regardless of the avenue through which it comes (with a few exceptions, of course).
With this renewed sense of hope that things might improve, there is a window of time around the new year when people seem more willing to introspect, consider what changes need to be made, etc. We take stock. This is a good practice for Christians so long as this introspection is graciously and truthfully guided by the Holy Spirit. After all, introspection by itself can be quite brutal and hopeless. All of this to say, this is a time when we look ourselves in the mirror, make resolutions, and ask ourselves questions. The other day, I came across an article on http://www.desiringgod.org and I was shocked by how good the questions were. Honestly, most questions and exercises around the new year seem lame and futile, but these questions were refreshing for their honesty and Christ-centeredness. Tonight, my wife and I are discussing the first one (and maybe the second) and will continue until we are done. I strongly encourage you to do the same with someone you care about. The questions are taken from the article titled, “Ten Questions for a New Year.” Here are the questions:
- What’s one thing you can do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
- What’s an impossible prayer you can pray?
- What’s the most important thing you could do to improve your family life?
- In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year?
- What’s the single biggest time-waster in your life, and how can you redeem the time?
- What’s the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
- For whose salvation will you pray most fervently?
- What’s the most important way, by God’s grace, you will try and make this year different from last?
- What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
- What single thing can you plan to do this year that will matter most in ten years? In eternity?
I hope that you will take these questions to heart, share them with someone you care about, and allow the Holy Spirit to begin working in you as we prepare for another year.