525,600 Minutes

525,600 is the number of minutes in a standard year. That means we have 1440 minutes each day, 365 times. So what do we do with them?

A new year is the catalyst for many to analyze the past year and to set goals for the upcoming year. I have historically not been that analytical or thoughtful. From time-to-time I would feel guilty for my lack of goal-orientation, so I would make a few resolutions only to completely abandon them 5-6 days in. I guess with age brings a more settling guilt that spurs action, or perhaps, I am beginning to mature at this little-over-half-century into my life.

For the past 2 new years, 2022 being the third, I have chosen a word to use as a compass to navigate through each year. At the beginning of each month, I ruminate on the word, see what additional definitions or facets I see in it, evaluate how I did in the action of my chosen word, and identify how I can do better in the month to come. Yes, I have to set alarms on my calendar to remind me each month to have this meeting with myself. What can I say? My temperament is not data driven, nor analytical in nature. But, I do realize the value of this process, so I strain to improve…progress, not perfection.

A day and a half into 2022, I had already put off choosing my word, when in my Sunday School class I was challenged by the leader (my husband of all people) to not only set goals, but to be purposeful about the measurability of them. I liken this process to when we were kids and we messed something up in a game or a speech or an attempt at something and we would yell, “DO OVER!” This gave us the magic eraser on the mess-up, and a clean slate on our next try. I remember teachers and parents saying at the beginning of each grade, “This is the chance to start over. Don’t let the past mistakes dictate your future.” Then they would say that again after the New Year break. And they said it when we transitioned to Middle School, then High School, then college, then a new job, new relationships, new sports seasons, next performances, etc. We relish the thought of there being some sort of re-set button at various stages in our life. Some people use every Sunday and/or Monday as a re-set. Some use the beginning of each day. In The Lion King, Simba is lamenting past mistakes. Rafiki whacks Simba on the head with his cane and Simba asks “what was that for?!” Rafiki answers, “it doesn’t matter, its in the past!” He tries to tell the king-to-be that as long as we learn from it, a hurtful or misspent past doesn’t define us or our future.

Jesus Christ came to earth to make all things new. He redeems everything in our past that is ugly or shameful or damaging. He then gives it value and purpose as a stepping stone into our eternal future, as opposed to a weight that brings us down. He is our magic eraser of the past errors, as well as the ones we will continue to commit. He indeed, makes all things new. Before Jesus, each and every sin needed payment, or atonement (an animal sacrifice), through a mediator (a priest).  Since Jesus, each sin still needs payment, but He is our permanent mediator. He paid for our sin with the sacrifice of His blood offered one time for all people who choose to believe in Him and follow Him.

The best part is that there is no qualification needed to have Jesus make us a new creation other than our receptive heart. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.”

So what do we do with the new year, months, weeks, days, minutes of 2022? Let Jesus make all things new in perpetuity, to the praise of His glory!

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