The Crusader Newspaper Group

January is a great time for consecration, new beginnings

New Year’s resolutions have become somewhat of an anathema. People don’t even want to talk about them anymore because there’s a sense they are too easily abandoned soon into the New Year. So many prefer instead to simply set reasonable expectations for themselves as individuals, to do better and reach higher levels.

Since I was born on New Year’s Day, it’s easy to be reflective over the past 12 months; to see how far God has brought me and to assess the road ahead. For me, it’s not simply the end of a calendar year, but rather the marking of another trip around the sun for one of God’s children, trying hard to do better.

For everyone there is a significance to the first month of the year. Beginnings are important, no matter how you approach them. The first few steps of a foot race often determine the victor. The saying goes that every journey begins with the first steps. Certainly, sense of direction is critical in life travels.

All of us had moments in 2023 that we feel particularly grateful for and we express appreciation for the way in which we were blessed. Likewise most, if not all of us, experienced moments that were trying, and in some cases, threatening to our existence or those we love most.

Over the past year, many welcomed new opportunities and met the challenges that accompanied them. At the other end of the spectrum, some lost jobs, health or loved ones over the course of the year. Through it all, we thank God for all He has done, all that He is doing right now, and the great things He has in store for us in 2024.

And if there are wounds that have not healed, if there are illnesses that have not yet abated, if there are losses, for which there is still grieving, if there is faith still in need of restoration, if there is direction and guidance needed, the good news is help is on the way. Your name is being spoken favorably in rooms you haven’t even entered yet!

As alluded to from the start, it all begins with January. First clear your head, and know the direction in which you want to travel. Get an understanding of your path, and what is required; then be led by the Lord to resources that will facilitate that need. The Bible says in all you’re getting, first get understanding. Enter this phase with prayer, and the knowledge that it is the will of God.

January is the perfect time to purge your friend and associate list of any names that are more of a burden to your progress than encouragement. No matter who it is, if they cannot find joy in your blessings, you should shear them from your immediate company, and surround yourself with people who believe in one another, and in the power of God.

Personal responsibility is paramount. We can’t blame others for our shortcomings, no matter how they may contribute to the difficulty of our journey. We are more than conquerors and should never deny ourselves that magnificent mantra given to us by the Word of God that describes us. In 2024, your enemies will become your step stool.

It all begins with January. Eat the right foods and shun those you know negatively impact your health and well-being, no matter how delectable they may be to the palate. You already know that everything good to you ain’t good for you. Start that healthier day during the first month of this year. Be reasonable and set attainable goals.

There is nothing that can’t be accomplished if we approach matters with a sense of determination and moderation. Changes are often gradual and that’s all right. As long as you’re traveling in the right direction and stay the course, you will eventually reach your destination. Keep the faith and believe the best is yet to come! January is the first step of your 2024 journey. Safe travels!

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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