Many years ago, before modern highways had come into existence, folks traveled on dirt roads and in Model T cars. I'm told that as you entered one such road, there was a sign that read, "Choose your rut carefully; because you'll be in it for the next 10 miles."
That's good advice for the beginning of January. What you decide to do and to be now will largely determine what you will be for the rest of the year, unless some radical change occurs.
Are you content with your patterns of caring? Would you be a better "you" if you attended church more often, prayed more, gave more, studied more? Have you forgiven those who may have wronged you? What would the world be like if everyone lived like you live? Would you be better off to criticize less and love more? ... to walk less with fear, and more with faith?
In Proverbs 4:23, we read, "Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flows the springs of life."
It is not the world or the environment that determines this year for you. Naturally, they will have their influence. But what you resolve to be and do, in the inner springs of your heart, this is where it all begins!
Let us ask God for help as we establish the grooves of grace in which to walk during the good year ahead.
Francis Guither, a pastor for 46 years, is the author of seven books. Guither is retired and lives in Quincy at Good Samaritan Home with his wife, Katharine. His most recent church was Carthage United Methodist.