Often I find myself wishing others a “Happy New Year!” around this time. As if that really matters. Honestly who cares if our year is a happy one?
Ask parents fifty years ago what they most wanted for their kids their answers would hover somewhere around the idea of wanting their children to have a strong character. Today its one form or another of “I just want my kids to be happy.” What’s funny is that in our quest to make our kids happy we have turned them into crabby, whining “I want my way” selfish brats who are never happy enough. You’ve seen these kids in Target and I’ve seen them in my own house from time to time. When my kids start acting like this it’s time for a trip to the bathroom for a “chat”, a very painful chat.
Happiness has become the mantra of middle class America. Maybe that’s why 2008 was not so great. The sky fell right along with the Nasdaq right onto our Gingerbread houses. But that’s okay they were getting foreclosed on anyway.
To be honest it feels like God is taking this nation to the woodshed for a “chat”. The end goal? To beat the plastic happiness out of us and make us more holy. He is bringing us to our knees by hitting us where it hurts…our pocketbooks.
And what about happiness? I think real happiness is a byproduct of genuine holiness. But this kind of “happiness” is not the silly, sloppy kind of New Year’s Eve frivolity. Its a genuine joy that oozes out of every pore. Its knowing that, in spite of the economics of our country or household, God is doing something in us greater than we could ever imagine.
So instead of wishing you a Happy New Year…I am wishing you and me a holy one.
Holy New Year!
Greg Stier is the President and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with youth leaders and students, equipping them to be effective in sharing the gospel. With experience as a senior teaching pastor and in youth ministry for almost 20 years, Greg has a reputation of knowing and relating to today’s teens. He is widely viewed as an authority and expert teen spirituality. He is known for motivating, mobilizing and equipping teens for positive change. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries, and the Invicible 08/09 conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org.