There are numerous dates that bear significance in people’s lives, for instance, birthdays, wedding anniversaries etc. Dates allow us to ‘index’ experiences or moments we never want to forget. The simple date change from 31 December 2010 to 1 January 2011 is an example of the impact dates have on people. Because of a simple date change, some people made different promises to themselves e.g., “I will go to gym” or “I will spend time with my family” or “from this point I will spend my money more wisely“.
I think God also has a fair regard for dates. After all, He’s the one who created time! I think God started the ‘marking-dates trend’. After saving the nation of Israel from Egypt, He declared, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year” (Exodus 12:2). This was God’s message to Israel that they were no longer to be governed by the Egyptian calendar, but by God’s timing and agendas. When God saves us from something, He will always bring us to the newness of something better. So significant He ‘resets’ the date! God starts a new year in the middle of another! It’s a God idea to mark dates and celebrate them.
I think God also a ‘made a fuss’ about changing the date so that Israel would never forget what He did when He dealt those that oppressed her. This is a lesson for all of us; take note of God’s working in our lives and to create “memorials” as reminders of God’s goodness and faithfulness. As we go further into 2011 I’d like to encourage you to choose to take note of what God does. Celebrate it.
Also, remember that God is not restricted by time and can give you a “new year” anytime. Any day is good enough for God to reset the past and set you on course to the future He has for you. Choose to forget lay down the things that have held you back in the past, so you can reach for what lies ahead! In fact God wants to take care of your past so you can focus on the future (cf. Philippians 3:12-14; 4:8). Let this be the year you choose to take note of what God does in your life and celebrate Him!