"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." -- Jude 24-25
Traditions are an integral part of the holidays. Whether it's waiting until Christmas Eve to trim the tree, baking cookies with your children during the holidays, or eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day to ensure good fortune, we all love the traditions that bring joy and comfort to our lives. Personally, although I love black eyed peas, I don't put much stock in their power to make my year any better than it would be otherwise. Last year I couldn't even find black eyed peas in the store to cook for New Year's Day (I settled instead for purple hull peas, a close relative) and my year turned okay just the same! Not great, but definitely okay.
For many New Year's Day will be filled with football, fun, and of course, black eyed peas. We will turn our back on the hardships we suffered, take a deep breath, and say a prayer that the coming year will be better than the one just ended. But will we live any differently tomorrow than we did yesterday? Most will continue to do their best and hope that everything turns out well for all their efforts. Others will walk in complete dependence on the Lord and suffer in spite of their faith, but still manage to praise him in spite of their problems. Some will be blindsided by tragedy and others will be surprised with unexpected blessings. None of us can predict what will happen, but we can rest in the assurance that our all-powerful God is, and will always be, in control.
As you remember the events of this year and make your resolutions for next, resolve above all else to give God the keys and let him do the driving this year. If you will spend a little less time doing what you think you should do and focus instead on being all God wants you to be (we are, after all, human beings), you might be pleasantly surprised by the blessings that come your way in the months ahead.
Happy New Year and pass the black eyed peas!