Article Display
Email  |  My Account  |  Donate
There's really nothing inherently special about the New Year. Sure, the calendar turns over to the next year, but it's really only the next day which turns into the next week which eventually turns into another month and so on. We've placed some sort of magical line of demarcation that rolls around on December 31st at 12:00 a.m. It seems that on the other side of that line there's a road that's clear of everything that's on the backside of that line. It's seen as a fresh start, a new beginning, an opportunity free of whatever was grinding against us previously.

The fact that we have a holiday that embraces a new start mentality suggests our deep need to believe in new beginnings. We need to know that we can start over, or start again, or start differently. We need to believe that we get more than one shot at things; that life is not always scripted as a "do or die" scenario. Life must provide us a mulligan or two along the way; giving us permission to regroup, recalculate, reorient and reengage. We have a need for all of that.

What we often don't realize is that life is really a fresh start waiting to happen whenever we're ready for it. We're not dictated by the calendar, nor does the calendar sweep the obstructions from our lives when the second hand reaches midnight in the wee and fleeting hours of December. We can choose to move toward something new at any time. We can try over. We can take another shot at it. We can pick up the pieces and give it another go. We can.

Where Something New Begins
It would do us well to remember that life is a decision; a series of decisions really, both large and small. It's not a game where we wait for some event to clear the calendar of obstructions. Opportunity is something that's 'created' far more than something that 'happens to happen.' We're constantly presented with opportunity, or the opportunity to create opportunity. Something new can begin when we realize that we are not hapless and helpless victims waiting for something to come drifting down the river of life. We can act. We can take what we have and begin to fashion it into what we want. We can do that.

Nice and Tidy
Often we only see opportunity when it lines up perfectly and is nice and tight and clean and tidy. We see it when the work's done for us; when everything comes pre-assembled and ready to go. We want opportunity that's "plug 'n play;" where we just insert it into our lives and it works automatically. We've lost our ability to see opportunity in the pieces and parts of life that fall or drift or are thrown into our lives. Opportunity is present is wreckage as much as it is in that which is wonderful. It's not so much how it comes to us, but what we do with it.

Opportunity in Wreckage
Opportunity is not necessarily based on good and bad, but rather it's what we choose to do with the good and the bad. It's not so much about the cards you're dealt; it's a whole lot more about whether you play them well, or play them at all.

We too often get caught up in the raw deals that we're handed; seeing only the perceived unfairness or disappointment of whatever's befallen us. We've yet to embrace the reality that life can be unfair; sometimes savagely unfair. With the singular, myopic mentality that only sees opportunity in that which is good, we look no further into the bad in order to discern any potential treasures that might lie within the smoke, ash and gnarled wreckage that often lies around us.

There appears to be value in getting past a mentality that good things only rest in good things. We've lost the larger vision that allows us to see possibilities in the muck and mire that often defines our lives. It is no secret that the greatest treasures are found in the most remote, inaccessible and difficult places where we must pursue them with great energy and even greater risk.

It's the same with our lives.

Opportunity as Risk
But will we decide that this New Year will really be new? Will we grab hold of whatever life may throw at us and out of this sordid conglomeration of good and bad strive to fashion something inherently good; even great? Will we strive for something new knowing that it often takes unrelenting energy and commitment to obtain it? And will we risk the endeavor knowing that we may fail; thereby having to cope with all the baggage that accompanies failure? Or will we settle for the security and comfort found in mediocrity because at least it's safe?

It seems that for many, risk outweighs the desire for change. Risk is just that . . . risk. It can be managed, but not controlled. It has some element of predictability, but it remains unpredictable all the same. It can work for you or against you; sometimes moving with you and sometimes moving contrary to you. It's the stuff that sucks the predictably right out of the very things we desperately wish were predictable. Risk is uncertainty injected into our most vulnerable places. And because that's the case, we may choose not to risk.

Opportunity Now
And so, what about your New Year? Will you create opportunity rather than just wait for it? Will you see the time as "now" rather than "when"? Will you look for pieces and parts of opportunity in the bad stuff as much as you do the good? Will you be willing to invest substantial time and energy in order to obtain what you desire? And will you risk even if risk implies vulnerability and possible pain?

That's a long list. Many people will say "no" to one or more of those things. What will you do? What will this New Year look like when we close it out twelve months from now on December 31st of 2013?

I encourage you to grab it and see what happens.

Copyright © Craig D. Lounsbrough, M.Div., Licensed Professional Counselor
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Craig D. Lounsbrough
Web site: Craig Lounsbrough Professional Counselor
Craig Lounsbrough strives to bring an effective blend of experience, expertise, clarity, concern, and action to the counseling process in order to maximize outcomes and provide genuine healing and wholeness to individuals, marriages, and families.

About Us

The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

At cfaith, you can strengthen your faith and deepen your understanding of the Word of God by digging into the vast collection of teaching articles, streaming audio and video messages, and daily devotionals. No other website offers such a unique and extensive collection of spiritual-growth resources aimed at helping you grow in your knowledge of the Word.




Support Us

Why support cfaith?

(All contributions are 100% tax deductible)


For every Internet search you make using
goodsearch, cfaith will receive one penny!

GS Logo 250x38

Contact Us

Business Hours:

Monday—Friday: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. CST
Saturday & Sunday: Closed


(763) 488-7800 or (800) 748-8107

Mailing Address:
9201 75th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428


Login Form

Please ignore the “Secret Key” field; it is not needed to log in to cfaith.

Login Change Article

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.