Hope for 2017

I love a brand new year. I love hearing about everyone's words and goals for the year. I feel like going around high-fiving everyone I see the week between Christmas and New Years, because we all survived the holidays and now we're all filled with resolve to improve and change.

2016 was a lot of year for a year, am I right? I've gotten some good laughs at the memes being shared on Facebook about how glad everyone is to see 2016 go. It seems like everyone this year, more than ever, is ready for the fresh start of a new year. 

I've been thinking a lot about the changes I want to make for 2017. I have lots of things I want to accomplish, and I admittedly have grand visions dancing in my head of all the potential growth and awesomeness that could happen if all those things actually happen. I keep adding to my mental list of things I want to be more disciplined in doing next year - things like actually wearing my FitBit daily, journaling more often, actually writing appointments down in my planner, and giving the dog her heartworm medicine - because hey, what's one more thing to start doing consistently since I'm gonna be so awesome at it this year?

And it hit me a few minutes ago (during a very hot shower with eucalyptus oil smeared all over the shower walls - don't knock it til you've tried it) that all these grandiose ideas I have of who I am going to suddenly be on January 1, 2017 - disciplined, organized, prepared, have-my-stuff-together- are somewhat misplaced desires. I was reminded of these verses:

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Corinthians 5:1-9

The truth is that when I wake up tomorrow on January 1, 2017, I am going to wearing the same skin and have the same struggles I have today. The first day of the new year is the exact same length as every other day, and I won't suddenly have extra super powers to go and perfectly conquer everything on my goal sheet as soon as I wake up. I won't get to enjoy perfection until I go to be with Jesus and enjoy Him forever in Heaven. And I realized that while my desires to be more organized (so my home and business run better) and add more discipline to my routine (so I can fuel and care for my body better) are great - the hope of perfectly achieving those things is really just a longing to be clothed in my heavenly dwelling with Him. Perfected, without struggle or burden. 

The Scriptures in 2 Corinthians explain so well that He is preparing us for the very time when our mortal life gets to be swallowed up by our heavenly one. When we get to cast off all the burden, hardship, disappointment that happens in this life in these broken bodies and go to be made perfect in Him forever.  Until then, we walk by faith, not by sight.

Don't get me wrong - I believe we are wise to set goals and to resolve to make better choices. I certainly need to. We are all a work in progress! Each day, our highest aim is to please Him, and recognize that we are completely dependent on the help of His Spirit to guide, lead, change, direct, encourage, and teach us.

"If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:19

That is the hope of a new year!