2019-01-11 / Chaplain's News

What’s new in the near year?

Chaplain (Capt.) Azande Sasa
202nd Military Intelligence Battalion

What are your intentions for 2019? New Year’s offers us the opportunity for a temporal permanent change of station (PCS); a chance to transition from one phase to the next – from one revolution around the sun to another.

Yet the newness of the New Year does not last long. Our hopes and wishes, which we sometimes refer to as “resolutions,” all too often end up in the Goodwill pile along with many of our “self help” books.

As we don the New Year, how do we ensure this one remains shiny and new? How do we honor the experiences that we hope to fulfill without these dreams, as others, falling by the wayside?

Case in point, I have several boxes of books that I have promised myself to read on my “downtime.” My refrain, “this year will be different.” A few New Years ago, I even started a project where I would “shred” my books, i.e. digitize them with my new toy – a name brand scanner that promises to “revolutionize your life.”

Well, my scanner no longer works. It suddenly required a costly annual subscription. Needless to say, while I have fewer boxes to tote along on my next PCS, I still have boxes. But alas, this year will be different. Will yours?

What are you intending to see transformed and uplifted in the year ahead? Is there something that you have been hoping to do for a long time but haven’t quite managed to accomplish? What is holding you back?

Why is it that gym subscriptions increase significantly in January but by Valentine’s Day most of the gym rats are nowhere to be found? Perhaps the notion of resolution should once and for all be resolved.

In fact, isn’t every day a New Year’s Day? While we are so busy looking outside for transformation to occur and resolutions to be fulfilled, perhaps we should look within.

For all change, if it is to be true and lasting, must begin first within us. Each morning that we wake up, do we not have an opportunity to start anew?

The Book of Revelations imparts a message of hope as we stand at the threshold of the New Year. If only the tone of our year is filled with joy as we remember 21:5 when God proclaims, “Behold, I make all things new.”

God’s promise reminds us that instead of new things, perhaps what we are truly seeking is for old things to be made new. What is holding us back? How do we make a way for God to transform our lives without getting in the way?

I am reminded of a quote by Marianne Williamson in “Return to Love,” and made famous in the film, “Akeelah and the Bee:”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God… We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same... (190)

Every new day is an opportunity to be the best version of ourselves and to live into our best skin. May we remain sanguine toward the New Year as we are toward every new day in our lives.

Cheers to us, our intentions, dreams, and visions for 2019.

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