A New Year—Time for a Change?
“AÑO nuevo, vida nueva” is an old Spanish proverb that means “a new year, a new life.” Lots of people today—and not just those who are sick, poverty-stricken, hungry or threatened by war and violence—would like to see the new year bring a turn for the better in their personal lives.
But most of us know that replacing an old calendar with a new one really does not change anything. When we pick up the January 1, 1977, newspaper the news in it will be very much what it was the day before. That is because the change in the year will not change people—and people are what makes life what it is.
Yet the end of a year and the start of a new one does do something. It often makes people reflect on their lives and the passing of time. It can make one ask: “Just where am I going? What am I doing with the years of my life? Is it time for a change?”
We cannot change what others are and certainly not what the whole world is. But we can give new direction to our own lives that can bring us greater happiness. By New Year’s resolutions? No. Most people break these within a few days of making them. Resolving to make a change just because the year is changing does not give us genuine, strong motivation to follow through. There needs to be a greater force, a solid hope of something better that moves us to action.
That is why the Bible urges: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.”—Prov. 3:5, 6.
If our hopes for a better future are based on just ourselves and our own imperfect knowledge and abilities, we have to admit that this is not much of a foundation. Even if they are based on an entire nation or on the whole world, the situation is really no better. The world shows the same imperfections as we ourselves have, only on a bigger scale. And that will prove true in 1977 just as much as in 1976 or in any other year. Good sense, then, tells us that we need to look to a source higher than ourselves—loftier than the whole world of imperfect mankind.
Do you, perhaps, feel as though you are only marking time, not really accomplishing anything with your life? Or do you find that your married life or your family life is showing signs of stress and even dangerous trouble? Or do you wonder why humankind as a whole just seems to flounder along, going from one crisis to another with little or nothing to encourage us that the future will bring better things?
In that case—not because of a change in the calendar, but because of what it can bring you in the way of sound help and a solid hope—there could be no better time for you to investigate the contents of the Bible. This can bring about a change in your life for which you will be forever grateful. The publishers of this magazine are interested in showing you how you can gain such Bible understanding.
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“Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.”—Prov. 3:5, 6.