Fair Haven Church

One Church Family. Where you live.

2900 Baldwin Street
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Sundays 9am & 10:45am

The Cliff of December 31st

December 19, 2017


What happens in people’s minds around this time of year is fascinating.  

I think that we somehow envision ourselves walking on a mental calendar that we journey from January to December.  Of course, each year season has its own benchmarkers, but I think that something more happens at the end of December.

At the end of the mental calendar that we walk, there is a cliff that drops on December 31. This “cliff” makes it difficult to think about much beyond December 31. The “cliff” marks the last leg of our journey each year before we start our mental walk over again on January 1.

Don’t believe me? Let’s test my theory.

In the past month, have you said or thought any of these things…

  • “I’ll get back to you after the new year.”
  • “Let’s just get through the holidays and then we’ll think about that.”
  • “Thank goodness my PTO renews at the beginning of the year!”

Do you believe me now?  You’ve said one of those things recently haven’t you? I knew it!

I’m not saying that we don’t put things on our calendars before the new year starts or that we don’t think about the future. What I think happens though, is that we begin don’t really feel next year’s plans are after we’ve passed by the mental “cliff of December 31st ”.

This mental calendar reset provides us with a great opportunity, which we all intuitively know: the new year gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. To that, allow me to share two familiar passages that will help as you begin the walk along the new mental calendar:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19). As you stand on the cliff of December 31st, there are likely a few “former things” from 2017 that you are standing with right now. You’ve probably got some regrets…don’t dwell on them anymore. Prayerfully take them into your hands and give them a good toss over the edge. Ask God to bring the former things out of you. Forgive others, forgive yourself, move on, and let God do a new thing for you!

“Many are the plans of a person’s heart, but the LORD’s purposes will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21). As you walk the journey from this January to next December, embrace God’s purposes to each of your steps. Invite His plans to be made known to you moment by moment. Even if it means adjusting the plans that you’ve already set, let Him guide your steps. He’s not done with you yet, He’s just getting started. He’s got big plans for your life this year. He wants to guide your steps to help people find their way back to Him!


I wonder if God might be guiding some of you toward taking a step of faith in joining a global mission trip. Harbor Churches is offering some amazing mission trip opportunities this year.* Take a minute to check out what we’re offering. If you have any questions, shoot me an email at email hidden; JavaScript is required. I’d love to walk with you to discern if God is guiding your steps toward a mission trip this year! Click here for a full list and applications for our global mission trips.

*Youth Week is happening June 24-29 this year. Mark your calendars! More on that coming in February for student and volunteer registration!

Your friend and Kingdom co-worker,

Jordan Stonehouse,