It’s a New Year. That time when dentists celebrate with the slogan, “Out with the old teeth, in with the new.” Here are a few things I need to leave in the past: memories of root canals; pop quizzes; scoring into my own net; and pimples (I ate a jar of Clearasil each week in ninth grade. It didn’t clear those pimples up. They were large enough to use as ski jumps. So I think I’ll smile about it and leave it in the past.) I was the poster boy for short shorts. You’ll be glad to know that they were burned; they’re long gone. But my daughter found some pictures of me in an old photo album and took a sharpie to those pictures. She blacked out the lower half of me. Then she found photos of me when I was young and well-mustached. She said, “Eww, Dad! Look at this. A weasel is latched onto your lip.” I’m glad I left that mustache back in 1989.
Of course, there are things I’ve left behind that I wish I hadn’t. I have left CDs in rental cars, phones on airplanes, and wallets in restaurants. People coming behind me were blessed with free stuff. I can be very generous… sometimes by accident. I wish I could go back to those places and “un-lose” what I lost. But I can’t. And there’s no use dwelling on it. Of far greater significance are people I’ve loved who are gone now. My best buddy Lauren. My parents. I can’t bring them back, but I can thank God for the memories and for the fact that I haven’t really lost them. I know exactly where they are. One day I’ll see them again. A New Year brings new hope. New attitudes. New shorts, maybe. And some of us need some new words. Let’s throw out some old words like, “If only.” Husbands can say goodbye to words like, “always,” “never,” and “fat.” Unless you say, “Honey, it always amazes me how you never look fat.”
Here’s a short list of things I’d like to say more often this year:
• “Am I blessed or what!”
• “Worry about tomorrow? What good will it do?”
• “Forgive you? Absolutely. I’ve been forgiven so much.”
• “I guess God cares after all.”
• “My friend, I am sockless. You’ve blessed them off.”
• “Life could be a whole lot worse.”
• “Would I like a little ice cream? No. I’d like a lot.”
• And finally, “Thank you God for another day.”
Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Every single day this year, let’s celebrate God’s amazing grace to us. And let’s pass it on. Now, I think I’ll throw out that old jar of Clearasil and this container of mustache wax.