Be honest - have you already ruined this year? It's day two of something new; does it already feel like something old?
The truth is that most of our resolutions, if they aren't already broken, will not last longer than a week or so. A week. Which means that most of us, in the very same breath that we have so much hope, so much optimism, so much joy, so much confidence...will breathe out utter failure, self-hatred, self-loathing.
We can't even do the things that we really, really, really want to do. We can't even keep one measly promise that we made to ourselves, a promise we made because, honestly, it was important to us. It was meaningful to us. It meant something, not just for today, but for all of our tomorrows.
And already, even our best promises are so...yesterday.
That means that many of us, in this new year, are already looking back and no longer looking forward. We're already wondering what happened to our hope, wishing we had yesterday to do over again. Wishing we had a chance to do it better. Just like that, we went from living in our bright and glorious future to living in our dark and defeated past, still longing for the future but believing it now to be hopelessly and forever out of reach. We blew it.
It's the same kind of pessimism and defeat that creeps so easily into our Christian lives, as well. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that every time I feel deeply the love of God, I go off and do something so stupid that I can't even fathom how He could love me at all. I go from feeling an intimate connection with Him and the fullness of what it means to be His child to hiding in the corner, hating myself, wishing I had a chance to make that decision all over again. Believing, in the same breath that I embraced all of His promises, that there's no way now that I could ever really hold them.
Look at me. I blew it.
So we spend our Christian lives looking backward, trying desperately to come back to yesterday, to come back to the point at which we blew it, the point at which we messed up, the point at which we went astray, wishing there were a way for us to get back on track, but feeling like we've ruined everything and it's just not possible any more. All the hope that we had for forever is buried in the rubble of yesterday, and we spend our whole lives turned around, trying to dig it back out.
It's a lie. Do you hear that? It's a lie. Because here's the secret truth, the little bit of truth that escapes us in all of our clocks and calendars and artificial notions of what time is - quietly, while you were sleeping, yes. Today became yesterday.
But it didn't change a thing about today.
The hope you had for this day passed on, maybe in failure, to yesterday, but when you opened your eyes this morning, it was this day again. Today all over again. Today is happening right now. Which means all that hope you had for today? You can still have it.
You can still embrace the promise of God. You can still look forward with great anticipation and confidence. You can still mark your time by what is coming, not by what is passed. Because every breath you take, every time you blink your eyes, every time you move your feet, it's always today. The strange thing is, it's never yesterday. Never.
So let yesterday be whatever it was because today is what it is and the promises of God are just as real, just as vital, just as near, and just as much yours today as they were yesterday, when yesterday was today. And no matter what happens today, that remains true tomorrow, when today passes into yesterday and tomorrow becomes today.
God loves you.
You can't blow that.