Today, January 1, 2011 is a totally unique day, it has never been before nor will it ever be again. It is unique because it is the very first day of a decade and a year. 2011 began last night at precisely 12:00.

For me it is a day to look back on the past year and remember the victories and losses, the failures and successes, the illness and the wellness, the joys and sorrows, the things that I got wrong and the things I got right. I like to do that so I can be certain that I have done what I can to negate the negative things, and then release them. At the same time, I categorize the positive things in order to remember them. In doing these exercises, hopefully I learn something worthwhile.

As I look backward to what was, I don’t dwell there longer than is necessary to simply check up on the state of my soul, then I look forward. What will the New Year bring? Certainly, it will bring some of the same things, but also new things. There will be new opportunities to be a blessing to old friends and new friends yet to be met. There will be opportunities to overcome obstacles and thus gain strength and wisdom.

Many years ago, I stopped making resolutions. I would carefully make a list and then check it out with my wife to be sure I hadn’t missed anything. Before the new month was done, I was frustrated and so was she. She finally refused to read my list and comment on it. She said that reading it then watching me slowly but surely fail on each one made her frustrated and then her frustration turned to anger. I realized the same was true for me. My failures made me angry at me and for the rest of the year I was angry, not a violent, hurtful anger, but a deep seething kind of anger that lay just beneath the surface waiting to be released. It made no sense to live that way so I just stopped the resolution business.

Rather than resolutions, I simply work each day on being a bit better than the day before. If I fail, I simply go to beg thankful for what that day wrought and knowing that tomorrow I can start again.

Having said all of that, I am excited about what 2011 might bring. So enjoy the promise of a New Year with me and remember the encouragement of the Apostle Paul: “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 3:13,14; NIV)

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Jack deJarnette

Jack deJarnette

I am a United Methodist Minister who in June 2008, was placed on incapacity leave due to kidney failure.  My kidneys failed due to immusuppression medications secondary to a heart transplant in 1997. The ministry is my second career having spent 12 previous years at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta as Chief Respiratory Therapist and Technical Director of Life Support Systems at Emory University School of Medicine. I  have a wonderful wife of 45 years, two super children, and four grandchildren. My life has been exciting, challenging, and full of wonder as in my early years I was concerned with saving lives and in my later years saving souls I was graduated  from Georgia Military Academy in 1961 (Woodward Academy). I attended Emory-at-Oxford College, The University of Georgia, Georgia State University, and Emory University for postgraduate work. I received my ministry credentials through the United Methodist Church Course of Study at Emory's candler School of Theology. My Theology is primarily Wesleyan and varies with the particular topic under discussion. I refuse to be labeled either liberal or conservative. My politics are moderate embracing what I hope is the best of all parties. I have a deep love for Christ, the Church, and the United States of America. Bev (my wife) and I are deeply thankful to God for the blessings that have been showered on us throughout our lives.