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New year, new beginnings

By Staff
Rep. Ron Grantland, Guest columnist
Happy New Year! 2005 is coming and has brought with it the excitement and hope of new beginnings and a fresh start. Making New Year's resolutions is a part of the tradition of welcoming a new year. I am sure many of you set logical goals like I do, such as resolving to eat healthier and exercise more, to lose a few pounds, to get more organized, even to mail out birthday cards on time.
Most of these goals are admirable, while others may seem somewhat ordinary. However, when viewed together, they all express the desire for all of us to have a better quality of life and live with a little less chaos in our world.
But what is really so special about New Year's Eve? It is the same as any other night in the year except for the date. The last day of the year becomes the first day of the next year. It is a rebirth, a renewal of our lives that happens about every 365 days. New Year's Eve becoming New Year's Day is symbolic of our optimism for the future and the opportunities it brings to each of us. It is hope and faith in a better tomorrow.
When I look at New Year's in this way, it brings more meaning to making a New Year's Resolution. I want my goals for the coming year to not be so task-oriented and short-term. If I truly want to experience a new beginning in my life, then my goals need to be broader in scope, and have a larger impact in my life.
I am talking about making a spiritual goal for myself and my family that will last longer than a year.
When most of us think about our faith and our relationship with God, we think of us going to or reaching out to Him. Christmas is the time of year when God actually comes to us. By allowing his son Jesus to be born on earth, God is revealing himself to us in a way that we can understand, as a baby. Every year we celebrate this miracle of birth and during the Christmas season, we have the opportunity to have a rebirth in our own lives, spiritually and physically, with the start of a new year.
So this year, much like previous years, but perhaps with even stronger conviction, I am resolving to treat every day of the year as though it is Christmas Day. I want to carry the faith, hope and love that fill me during the holiday season into my daily life and routine.
By committing myself to be a stronger Christian and believing that good works go hand in hand with faith and prayer, I will be a better person, a better neighbor and public official. When I serve my family and my community, I am serving our Creator.
Having a close and personal relationship with God is an everyday pursuit; it is one that takes effort and commitment on my part. It is always a work-in-progress. The more I read, listen and learn about the scriptures, the stronger my faith grows.
New Year's Eve and Day give me the opportunity to reflect on the past year, to really think about the things I did well, the things that I should have done, and the things that I can do better. Every year brings new challenges and opportunities, but nothing so serious that God, my family and I can

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