This is the time of January when you can begin to feel the benefit of those new year resolutions.
Psalm 118 draws us into some thoughts of the new year and the new day:
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I have often thought January first must be God's favorite day of the year. He is after all, the initiator of new beginnings, fresh starts and new days. This Psalm draws us into a realistic optimism of the new day. Each morning and each evening is an invitation written in the heavens to begin fresh, to begin new.
There is no indication in any way, shape or form as the time of day the writer of this song is either writing in or thinking about.
We don't know if it's evening and he's thinking about all the things that happened that day. We don't know if these words were echoed in the morning looking out on the rising sun contemplated the necessary things that needed to be done that day.
If the day is fresh, it is a new day. If the day is ending, sleep is entered into out of hope for a new day tomorrow. In either case it is a new day.
This is the day. There is purpose in this day. There is reason and cause for this to be the day. We are not given the gift of days so we can wait for our real lives to begin. The real life doesn't come one day. Real life doesn't come in a suit of armor and a white horse. Real life doesn't come if all these things line up just right. Real life comes because it is the day. The day of purpose. The day of intentionality. The day the Lord has made. The day given, waiting to be embraced.
There is a choice in this day. In this calling to rejoice there is an understood choice to rejoice and be glad or to bemoan. There will always be things beyond our control. There will always be expectation imposed by others or us that cannot be met. Our response to rejoice or bemoan shape the impact of the day.
God had made the day. He has given it to us. Choose to rejoice in it.
Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.