I drove up to my bank's drive-up teller window and there was Lou, my favorite bank teller. I handed him my deposit forms and asked him how his new year was going so far.
"Ask me again in March and I'll know by then" he answered with a half smile.
It's only 9 days into the New Year and he, perhaps, didn't feel qualified to say how good the year was, so far, because maybe he needed to compare these first nine days to the next months ahead, and then he would know by comparison.
I know all about making a conclusion (or a projection) based on a comparison. That's how we often decide how we are doing. "Well, compared to yesterday, I'm fine" or "Well, compared to last year, this year hasn't been that bad."
I can't compare this start to the New Year to any other years because I don't think I've ever begun a New Year the way I've started this year: decidedly not making any New Year's resolutions of my own, and feeling like God wanted to show me what resolutions He has in mind for me. He has been showing me, day by day.
I joked with the postal clerk at the post office, the other day, about what New Year's Resolutions he made this year.
"I didn't make any- because I always break them. Better not to make them at all, and then I won't feel guilty" he said.
See, that's exactly how I didn't begin this year: with pressure, with guilt, with a sense of let-see-how-this-year-goes-but-I'm-already-not-too-optimistic. No wonder it's been such a good journey so far, like breathing in a lot of good clean air as you make progress at a nice pace. (God sets the pace for you, so there's no need to compare your progress and pace with someone else).
I'm not sure if it's optimism I feel (but I wouldn't discount that), or if it's relief I feel at not having commenced a rigorous regime of New Year's Resolutions Fulfillment. It's more that I feel like I am on a journey and the ticket that I received says that this is a "Good" trip I've signed up for. I clutch the ticket in my hand and keep going.
How's your year going so far?!