|[Image by Rod Irvine]|
From the tiny hole through the wall of the prison cell, Marie could hear people screaming in the distance. It was the start of a new year. 1790.
But it was also the period of the French Revolution, a time of radical and political upheaval. On October 16th, 1789 (the previous year) she'd been caught unawares in the war, although she was an innocent woman. That fine night she'd gone along with a crowd of women to a Parisian market, with a placard on her hand addressing the harsh economic situation of bread shortage. Hers read, "Abolish Poverty Now."
In the process of protesting, she'd felt strong arms dragging her away, and then she'd found herself being carried and pushed along a hidden trail into one of the most talked-about prisons in Paris, where people gathered to watch the heads of the prisoners as they fell off the metal blade of the bloody guillotine.
Four months later, on January 1st of 1790, she was hearing screams from people in the outside world, bidding themselves "Bonne Année! Happy new year!" But of course, she could not participate from a prison cell. There was nothing she could do about it. She'd been restrained for this long without a definite cause, as was the custom with the war. There were so many people behind these prison bars who did not deserve to be here.
Time passed. Hours lapsed into days, and days into months.
Three months later, in March, the gates of the prison courtyard were opened and she was told that she could leave. Although the light from the sun blinded her, she took those bold steps and stumbled out upon free sand.
To every single person she encountered on the streets, she screamed, "Bonne Année! Happy new year!" for it was her own time to scream. The moment the gates were opened became her new year. The second she saw the sun fully seated in all its splendor became her own morning. Some folks shooed her away from them, but they didn't understand that she was just beginning her own year. They didn't get why she was grinning with such a wide girth, one end of her face to the other. They didn't know that every step she took was with all her resolve to start living in the newness of 1790.
* * *
Dear Readers, one week has passed since the New Year began. Yet, with the fullness of joy in my heart I declare to you that your new year is when you want it to be. One week passed before something got activated in my spirit (based on a message that was shared on this past Friday's The Early Risers Conference (TERC) meeting~click to hear the message).
I was charged up like I'd never been before, and I began to understand that January 1st is not a time of let-down, but it is merely a Calendar date. It's not a time to measure yourself as a failure for not having started a task on Day 1, but it is a time to reactivate your faith in God. Yet, it's only a Calendar date, and every single date on the Calendar is just as important as the first.
Friends, your new year is when the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to see it. It's when you grab a hold of the open doors before you, and it's when you begin to activate your faith. Your new morning is not when the sun rises in the east, but it's when you actually see the sun shining and you begin to walk under it.
Don't let anyone make you feel like you're a failure because you haven't processed what goals and visions you have for 2011. Today is your day if you haven't done so already. Take a grip of January 10th and give your 2011 a God-filled vision. And if tomorrow comes, and you see the sun, then grab a hold of its horns and rejoice. Remind yourself of the vision God gave you yesterday, and reactivate it in your heart. For it's never too late to say "HAPPY NEW YEAR," and it's never too late to START walking in a God-given purpose and path. Do so now.
Happy new year, Readers. It's a blessing & privilege to be able to continue in this path of writing in 2011, and I'm looking forward to drawing many as close to the heart of God as can be drawn. May God reveal to you what He wants for you in this new year, 2011. May God bless you mightily (in all the abundance of His marvelous & indescribable heavenly riches) and may the eyes of your understanding be all the more enlightened about Him in 2011 than it was in 2010. May you never be discouraged for one day in this new year, for all things will work together for your good, according to His word. Amen.