2015 does not have to be the year of…that.

What “that” would you use to describe 2014?

New Beginnings…Hard Endings…Growth…Pain…Joy…Sadness…Discouragement…
Expression…Depression…Speaking Up…Backing Down…Moving Forward…Dropping Back

Whatever 2014 was the year of, 2015 does not have to be the year of that.

A quote I read today states, “Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

I love the sentiment and the reality of a fresh start. Let’s be honest, 2015 has blank pages yet to be written, but this story most definitely has a prologue. A blank page on January 1 does not negate the reality of life in which that books is opened.

So, whether I liked the “that” of 2014 or not, 2015 does not have to be the year of that.

2014 could be described in our household as one of chaos as we experienced a house fire and moved around and went through a difficult but manageable season. 2015 will hopefully not be known as a year of a house fire. The truth is that no matter how carefully I plan or work at what is written on the fresh clean pages of 2015, I have zero control over such realities in life. The life realities of loss or change or gain are not under my control.

I guarantee you there will come, in 2015, some things you would not plan. Some will be blessings you could not have imagined and others will be pain you wish you could avoid. There will be something happen that will be way better in the long run that you would ever have thought. There will also be something that will not be nearly as worthwhile as you had imagined.

You enter 2014 with a prologue, perhaps a lengthy one. The pages are blank but the story already has a setting and a cast of characters. Some of that you can change. Some of that you cannot. (And some of that you should not change.)

I encourage you to consider, however, what 2015 will be the year of. Realize the things that will be written into that story that you do not control and at the same time, take seriously and gratefully, the things you can.

Romans 6:1-14 (my text this week as we kick off a series called the “Year of…”) has some wonderful insight on the balance between what we control and what we do not control.

We control whether or not we choose to die with, and therefore, live with Christ.

If the “that” of 2014, is not something you hope to repeat, I challenge you with this thought. You must desire to die to the “old that” as much as you desire to live a “new that.” Experiencing wonderful new life is impossible without experiencing the death of that which has prevented it in the past. You cannot have both “this” and “that.”

So what is “that” which you will choose to leave behind in 2014?
What is “that” which you will choose to experience fresh in 2015?

Blank pages are a beautiful truth and God’s mercies are new everyday.

Be encouraged for this is the Year of our Lord Two Thousand and fifteen.

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