New & Improved (?)

How many times have we seen the phrase “new and improved” on things we buy or pass by at the market?  Why is it used so often? Because advertisers long ago discovered that something that is new or improved attracts people to give it a try.  Often that which is “new or improved” is the packaging, color or some other quality that makes little change or improvement to the product and gives us little or no benefit from it.

I believe that the idea of a New Year seems to offer the same kind of promise as “new and improved.” Many times I have had people talk about hardly being able to wait to get to the New Year assured that the New Year “has to be better” than the prior year.  One definition of insanity I have heard is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

If we wish to have our life and spiritual journey improved or recreated in a new way we have to begin by asking what we are willing to change or to do differently.  Do I want more depth in my prayers or my experience of God? If so, am  I willing to commit the time for daily prayer and reflection, or am I only willing to given an hour (when convenient) on Sunday?

Do I want to grow in love and compassion?  Am I willing to make the commitment of time and energy to follow Christ’s example by  reaching out to others in some sort of ministry? Am I willing to intentionally become more generous in sharing my resources?

There is a cost to becoming a good or better golfer – lessons and more and more practice. There is also a cost to becoming a mature Christian when we intentionally take on practices of daily prayer, corporate worship, and active ministry, we find that life is renewed and is greatly improved – even when the circumstances of our life seems not to change.

Join us in the New Year as we discern, as individuals and as faith communities, how we wish to grow and change as followers of Jesus


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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