What Are You Going To Change On This New Year's Days?

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Some might say that nothing changes on New Year's Day.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, 2010 became 2011.

And, sure, there was a big ball that tumbled in Times Square and people around the world celebrated like it wasn't 1999.

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But then what?

What's the big deal?

New Year's Eve was fun.

Now it's back to work.

The business of living in a way that makes the new year mean more than the one that's just finished passing on beyond us.

The countdown in Times Square, or Dillwyn or Farmville or Cumberland Court House won't have launched a thing but perhaps a hangover without each of us being willing to lift ourselves off the ground and raise those around us, too.

As Friday became Saturday, a number changed.

2010 was gone. Done and dusted.

2011 is wide open. Empty page after empty page.

What are you going to write?

It's your autobiography.

And what are you going to right?

We are not surrounded by perfection, from the reflection in the mirror to the world outside the window.

One single solitary number moved as Friday became Saturday, like a safecracker delicately turning one number in search of the combination that opens the vault to all the riches inside.

All of us are like that safe. So much inside us. Lots of things locked up, waiting to get out.

No, not money or jewels.

Not stocks or bonds.

No secret map to the buried treasure.

That's because the treasure is buried inside of us.

Not riches counted with bills, coins and bank balances.

The kind of riches, instead, that enrich others and the corner of the world we share together.

As 2010 has become 2011, the symbolism expresses the message of opportunity.

Where the zero stood for 365 days during 2010, the number one has taken its place.

From nothing, one person can change themselves in a way that changes the world. Change it in subtle ways. In ways that may not, and probably won't, make headlines. But in ways that very definitely will make a difference to at least one other human being.

Look at the world and your life as if we were all in a “relay for light.”

Because we are.

There are people all around us reaching out for the light that someone else has carried and run with for as long and as far as they can, like passing a baton in a relay race, and now the light they carry needs your legs.

Your heart.

Your commitment.

Your energy.

Just as your own life needs those ingredients.

As do the members of your family.

Your congregation.

Your civic organization.

Your neighborhood.

A non-profit organization.

A friend.


And if you cannot remember the combination to the safe, it doesn't matter.

You are the combination.

Open yourself.

And give yourself a way to give yourself away to those who need you.