That New Baby Smell

Have you ever picked up a baby and smelled the top of his head? You know the smell I’m talking about. It’s like hope and potential all wrapped up into one tiny package. That small child is capable of so many different things in that moment, you can hardly bear it. Because it reminds you of all the potential you once had. You used to be like that small child, seeing the world for the first time, eyes filled with wonder and amazement. Oh all the places we’d go.

Yeah, now that I think about it, its kind of depressing, isn’t it? When you first start a new project, your mind is filled with the potential of all the things you will accomplish, the accolades you will receive, the joy at a job well done. By the end, you just want it over with. You have to finish it before you can get to the next, better thing that lies ahead. We come upon this cycle of accomplishment that just doesn’t end like we thought it would, and we come upon disappointment. So it is with New Year’s.

Only this new year isn’t just a new year, but a new decade. It reminds us that we need to review not just the last year, but the last ten years. Are you where you’d thought you’d be ten years ago?

Ten years ago I was pastoring a church in Illinois called First Christian Church. I thought ten years ago that that would be a good place to retire. Going to Kentucky and living in Morehead was never on the radar, ten years ago. I would have laughed if you talked about moving to Kentucky. Yet here we are. Ten years on and living here for the last 7+ years. I had no thought at that time that I would be a Chaplain. I always thought I would be in ministry in a local church. But God always has other plans.

With the lessons I’ve learned about people I’d go back in a heartbeat believing myself more capable or ministry than I ever had been, and I should be. I should be more mature and have better skills today than I did ten years ago. But who knows what the next ten years have in store for me? In ten years, I will be in my late fifties. My youngest will have graduated high school, and I may even have grandchildren by then. I may also have to face the death of my parents, as they are both in their seventies. These next ten years may make the last ten look pretty good. I suppose that’s true for a lot of us.

But this is the hope offered by the verse above, isn’t it? In Christ, we are new? In Christ we put aside the old and put on the newness He offers? We don’t have to wait for the calendar but even today can put on the new.

Have you been making New Year’s resolutions to get back into your Bible or buffing up your prayer life? May I suggest that you not wait until January 1st. Start today. His mercies are new every morning. For this morning, I offer you this verse, the old has gone, the new has come. Make today the start of something new. Leave off regrets of the life you could have had and make the best of your life now. God has steered you in this direction for a purpose. Find it and do your best to fulfill it. God cannot and will not move you until you’ve accomplished His purposes here.

May God bless you and have a great Monday!

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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