Dear All So, another New Year. I wonder how many of us liked to start a new year or term at school with a new pencil case with a zip that worked; filled proudly with freshly sharpened new pencils that weren’t chewed at the end; a clean new rubber that wouldn’t make more smudges than it rubbed out; and a ruler that didn’t have chunks taken out of it on either side?
Sadly, part of me still wants that ‘fresh start’ feeling at the beginning of the new year, with a diary that doesn’t have crossings out from appointments constantly rearranged, a clear desk (!?!) and a string of (never to be kept!) resolutions for a whole new me!
How wonderful, knowing our human frailty, that God gives us a ‘new start’, a new ‘me’ every day of every year! “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23.
I don’t know about you but I need that daily gift of our Lord’s compassion. Some of you may remember a character called ‘Pigpen’ in the wonderful Peanuts cartoons featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and friends. Pigpen would step out from his front door in freshly laundered clothes, looking smart and neatly groomed. Within one frame of the cartoon he would be … well, his scruffy appearance says it all.
There are times when this image of Pigpen is a little too close to home for me. But as often as I seem to find myself grimy with the stuff of my human-ness so, as I turn to God yet again to ask for his forgiveness and compassion, he washes me clean. I praise the God that will do this time and again for me, a miserable sinner, but one who loves him beyond all else.
Happy New Morning!