Thursday, January 2, 2014


It’s a new year. 2014. Doubt any of you are surprised. That’s as pessimistic as I’ll get, though, which I know is odd. But last year was so bad, 2014 is a welcome breath of fresh air in comparison.

I know, I know. I’m starting to sound like all the other writers, waxing poetic about how a New Year actually means something new. Changing trends, changing habits, changing people… To hear everyone talk you’d think a “New Year” is an event verging on cataclysmic which brings about miraculous change in people’s lives. Sorry to rain on all y’all’s resolutions, but the New Year doesn’t mean a darn thing.

Know how I know? Because my change started a week and a half prior to the proper New Year. Yes, if change is supposed to come with a “New Year” then my 2014 has been ten days longer than all of yours. It was Christmas Eve for those of you who have started counting backwards.

You see, on that day I was reminded of a solid truth, a truth so powerful that it singlehandedly wiped away all the pain and frustrations of 2013. The truth is that Jesus has always been here.

The context line that led up to this truth was the question, “What has never changed about our candlelight Church service?” You might say, “Sure, that’s obvious,” but that would be avoiding the truth.

I can’t help but imagining a rope, tied up to the dock and stretching off into the darkness. It’s like I forgot what that rope led to, and that on Christmas Eve someone grabbed that rope and pulled. Suddenly the point of a humongous vessel appears out of the dark, drifting your way, and you realize that this truth is far, far too large to be ignored.

That’s where I was at Christmas Eve. Jesus has always been here! This truth doesn’t just apply to that service, or the day following. IT IS EVERY DAY! HE IS EVERYWHERE! Jesus has always been HERE.

He is the reason for our being beings! He is the one who gave us years to begin with! Through Him were all things made! Without Him there is no New Year, nor any day to celebrate it! Most importantly of all, Jesus Christ is the only one who effects true change.

Sure, we could argue that point. Some might say they’ve overcome vices through their own willpower, taking up better habits. My short answer to that is that vices are idols and exchanging idols for idols that you or the world have labeled “better habits,” doesn’t qualify as real change. It might benefit society better if you’re doing yoga instead of drinking and driving, but worshiping a workout session instead of a bottle isn’t any better for your soul.

If you think that truth hurts like a ton of bricks, just imagine that titanic of a truth again, tearing out of the darkness, hitting home and rending in two. That’s how I felt on the 24th of December.

Oddly, it was a kinda good feeling. Knowing Jesus was with me every day of 2013 made me feel great. It also made me feel pretty stupid for not really realizing it until nine days shy of the end of the year.

In a flash I knew I had been thoroughly selfish throughout 2013. The more joyous realization, though, was of how to change for this year. Yes, 2014 will be different. Not because it’s a New Year or because we all try harder, or something like that. 2014 will be different because every day Jesus is here, whether we remember it or not.

I’m pretty sure I’ll remember it this time, though.


  1. Anyone interested ought to check out this link I'll post here. It's a nifty song. You might have to copy and paste it.

  2. Throughout the year you've just looked tireder and sadder. But I thought I'd noticed a change in your attitude in the last week or so. I praise God for showing you that amazing truth, and I pray that we can all hang on to it throughout this year and all the years to come.

    The events of this past year have been so sad and tragic that it has been difficult for all of us. You, as a new husband, newly independent, working full time and taking full time classes online, would have been stretched to the limit even if life had been nothing but unicorns and rainbows.

    It's times like these, when it feels like I'm no longer on the dock at all, but adrift in the black ocean with nothing visible on any side, that I just hunker down and hold on to that rope. Life isn't fun at times like that, but somewhere in the deepest part of my heart, joy and hope have always remained.

    So very different from the despair I felt before I knew Jesus.

    Now that I know Him, I know that He is always right here.