Niagara Gazette — The calendars have been changed, the balloons have fallen, champagne bottles have popped, and shouts of “Happy New Year” still resound in our ears as we welcome 2014.
There is something amazing about the start of a fresh new year. Somehow it stirs our souls and our minds to anticipate the possibility of good things in the days ahead. A new year gives us an opportunity to believe in positive changes. It invites us to be optimists for a bright future.
In order to take full advantage of all that the New Year potentially offers, we must have hope. If hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for certain things to happen,” then all of our New Year’s life goals, thoughts and resolutions must be made with hope. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 12:1
When reflecting on 2014, I have to ask myself “why”? Why does the beginning of each new year have such an effect on so many people? Is it because the change of the date signals the start of a new chapter in our lives? Is it because we can metaphorically step away from the negative into the direction of the positive? Is it like the starting line of a life race versus the finish line of all we have yet to accomplish?
Perhaps it is simply that a new year gives us a moment in time to have hope for something better ... something more than where we are, or what we have, when the old year comes to an end.
New Year’s Eve found my husband and me celebrating with a cozy circle of wonderful friends. An elegant dinner, live music, laughter and the joy of good company made the celebration memorable. By no means did I complete a long list of “life goals” or “resolutions” with a December 2014 deadline. I do, however, have some things that I hope for this year:
• I hope for an optimistic national outlook on life, no matter what the economy or politicians are doing.
• I hope my family will continue to strive for excellence in all areas of their lives, especially spiritually, professionally and academically.
• I hope there will be a true end to the wars and that our military service men and women will be even more honored and respected for their sacrifice of service.
• I hope our nation will find a way to respect the rights of all citizens without hating each other for our differences.
• I hope that we will truly find a way to “disagree agreeably” and to agree with peace.
• I hope our shores will not be struck by another super storm, and that monster tornados will not touch down in the next season (or in the off season).
• I hope there will be an end to attacks on school campuses, that mass murder/suicides will end, that there will never be another incident like Sandy Hook that robs families of the innocence of childhood.
• I hope that the United States will be safe from terrorist attacks.
• I hope that more people will join in the fight against hunger.
• I hope that love will become the greatest motivation we have in the days ahead.
And I hope each of us will have a magnificent 2014!Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with over 20 years of television broadcast experience. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.