Preparing your Heart for a New Year

What would be your ‘Word of the Year’ for 2021?

The Oxford English dictionary chose “vax” as the word of the year. The Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is “vaccine “and the Collins Dictionary’s word of the year is “NFT”, the abbreviation of “non-fungible token”.

Certainly, we will all remember the year 2021, however we might describe it. It has been a year stamped with plenty of uncertainty and yet it was also a year of great opportunity. Perhaps we all hoped that after 2020 we would see the tensions in the world ease and things would get back to what we knew as normal.

So, what will 2022 be like? Will it be more of the same or will the storms of COVID, racism and economic uncertainty pass? Will there be more natural disasters of unprecedented measure?

There is no shortage of opinions on how to prepare yourself for the upcoming year. Information on how to prepare yourself health-wise. Information on how to prepare yourself financially. But how do we prepare ourselves spiritually? The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches can distract us from preparing the most crucial component for a successful year and that is our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” The condition of your heart will be the controlling factor for what your life will be like in the upcoming year.

We give much attention to guard our physical heart to keep it healthy, and for good reason. According to Heart and Stoke website, one person in Canada dies every five minutes from heart conditions, stroke or vascular cognitive impairment. So we make daily decisions to avoid certain foods, cope with stress, and adhere to the need for exercise. Likewise, we must pay attention to make daily decisions as to care for our spiritual heart. The writer of this Proverb goes on to list four key things we can do to prepare our hearts:

1. Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words. Be free from using perverse words no matter what!

2. Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions.

3. Watch where you’re going! Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you.

4. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked for even a moment or take the detour that leads to darkness.

My word for 2022 would be “Prepare”. The heart is the starting point of all the activities in our life, therefore it is essential as we go into another New Year that we prepare our hearts with the things of God. Studying His Word, stay planted in church, choose not to be distracted or sidetracked, and ensure we are aware of our words. By preparing our hearts we can set ourselves up for a healthy spiritual life. As the great basketball coach John Wooden said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Before anything else, let’s prepare our hearts for the year to come and by God’s grace we will be more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.