Predictions, Resolutions & Possibilities

Every I go at the moment people are wishing me a Happy New Year.

I sometimes wonder when the cut off is how wishing someone a Happy New Year. Is it the 7th of January? 15 January? The 31st?

I have read a lot of articles recently where different predictions are being made for 2018. Many different pundits have predicted that Ireland will win this years Six Nations Championship – I hope they are correct. Forecasts for the Ryder Cup are 50/50 between US and Europe, though this is like predicting the result of the Boat Race – you always have a 50% chance of being right.

BBC’s Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty has predicted that Manchester City will win the quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup. He also predicts that England will reach the quarter finals of the World Cup – this makes McNulty’s Manchester City prediction seem modest by comparison!

Other predictions abound – stock market collapse, stock market booms, interest rate rises, general elections, changes of Prime Minister, cold winters, warm summers, the list is endless. The cynic in me says that if you consistently predict the same event the chances are that it will eventually happen, and you can then say “I told you so!”

This is the time when many make New Year’s resolutions, though the majority of these will be broken before the New Year greeting period has finished. Stopping smoking, losing weight, drinking less alcohol, drinking more water, exercising more, and so on, and so on. January is the time for a boom in gym memberships, and long queues at Slimming World (other slimming clubs are available.)

There is one New Year’s resolution that I have managed to keep. A few years ago I made a resolution to stop making New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions tend to be unrealistic and over ambitious, leading to disappointment, frustration and a sense of failure when we inevitably break them.

One thing about the New Year is the possibilities that it brings. We view it as a clean slate, a new start, a fresh chapter. We can either put a difficult year behind us, or build on the good things that happened in the previous year. The change of year is a time for us to reflect on what has gone past, and a time to look forward to what is ahead. Some will embrace 2018 with optimism, others less so.

However, outside of the uncertainties that every day, month and year brings there is one certain hope that is available to all of us. We have a loving Lord & Saviour who died to atone for our sins. Jesus is always there when we need Him.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

I wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful 2018.