Updated: Jan 27
Each year is an opportunity to reflect more of God’s creative capacity.
Transition can sometimes be quite the paradox. On the one hand, it is the end of a season. Whether the duration of the season is short or long, we adjust to the climate so that we may flourish. It is our ability to adapt to internal and external changes that equip us to handle the pressures of life. On the other hand, transition is the beginning of a new season. It is filled with the possibility of new experiences and new opportunities. Yet, the uncertainty of what lies ahead can cause apprehension.
December is a month of transition. It is the culmination of one year and the carriage into a new year. For some people, December is a welcomed relief from a difficult year. But for others, it is an undesired end to a period of tremendous success. One thing is true: No matter which perspective aligns with our situation, December marks a period of transition.
Created to explore our unlimited capacities for endless possibilities
Transition is what we observe in Genesis 1:31-2:2: “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”
God didn’t rest until His work was completed. Prior to Genesis 2:1, God was working through His imaginative power to create the universe we now inhabit. From that point on, He was handing over management of the earth to the pinnacle of His creation: mankind. Human beings were expected to manage the earth as God managed heaven. They were to use their God-endowed intellect and creative capacity to fill in what He formed out. And this is what we have done year-after-year since God set Adam in the Garden of Eden.
At the end of each year, we set or update our goals, reflect on the year that we have endured, and look forward with expectation for better results in the year to come—whether it is from bad to good, good to great, or great to greater. We are wired to pursue better and greater because we are made in the image of God. We can’t help but push the boundaries of our humanity because each day we look into the heavens, we recognize that out there somewhere is a new horizon to explore. Therefore, we can never allow temporary circumstances to cloud the unlimited possibilities that lie ahead, even if those circumstances are great. December is a time when we pause like God to look at what we have accomplished up to this point, assess it, and then add to it (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). It’s what God did; it’s what His image bearers should do.
Creativity is the cycle of an ever-expanding capacity
Now, building is hard, and most of us weary from the grind of creating something that always seems to require more—more of our time, money, and energy—but the alternative is to live life in mediocrity, knowing we were created to do more. That, my friends, is the paradox: to do more, we must give more. This is what Decembers remind us of. We are constantly in transition from one year to the next, building upon each year until we reach the place where God declares us good and faithful. In Genesis, God declared what He created “good” and “very good,” but when we have finished our work here on earth, He will declare us “good and faithful” (Matt. 25:21, 23).
So, as we approach the end of this year, it is important to remember three things.
1. Reflect on all that God has helped you to accomplish this year. Our lives have accelerated to the point where we segue from one project to the next without considering all that we have achieved. Taking the time to look back over the course of the year and celebrate how much you have accomplished is critical. At the end of each day of creation, God reflected on what He had achieved and celebrated it. He knew there was more to accomplish, but He didn’t allow what needed to be done next to prevent Him from appreciating what He had done now.
2. Review and update all that God wants you to accomplish next year. The next step is to take note of those goals you were not able to achieve in the current year and carry them over to the new year. As you prayerfully seek God’s direction for what else He wants you to accomplish, add those new goals, along with corresponding strategies, objectives, and tactics to not only have targets but also roadmaps for reaching those targets.
3. Recharge your spiritual, psychological, and physical batteries for the year ahead. Finally, set aside a few hours to fast, pray, read Scripture, and sit quietly in God’s presence. Allow Him the space to breathe into you a fresh wind to carry you to the next year. In Luke’s gospel, he highlights how Jesus repeatedly set aside time for the Father to recharge His batteries (Mark 1:35, 6:46; Luke 5:16, 6:12). If Jesus needed it, we certainly do.
New year, more you
New Year’s Day does not bring a new you, but it does offer us an opportunity to become more of who God created us to be. Like the six days of creation, God continues to unfold the masterpieces we are one year at a time. We are always in transition because we are always being conformed into the image of Christ. Our responsibility is to remain faithful to pursuing the high calling of God in Christ Jesus to reflect the image of God in the earth. We do that by expanding and exploring all that God has called us to create from one year to the next.
Rev. Isaac Hayes is the president of Healing of the Soul Ministries. He is also an Assistant Pastor at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, IL, and a doctoral student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Follow Rev. Hayes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @RevIsaacHayes.