Beginning the new year we make resolutions, knowing that most will not be kept. The effort does make us feel better since we hope and dream for something different and better in the future. In the bulletin of a mission station, a writer reminds us of the often-used Spanish proverb: When the first button is not buttoned correctly, there is no place left for the last button.
It is the time to bring determination and resolve into our lives, he says. So beginning the new year he is determined to start off correctly by doing whatever comes along, no matter how seemingly trivial, to the best of his ability.
Buttons are a very small and insignificant part of our clothing but when we miss the first hole then all the rest are incorrectly inserted, and we destroy the overall appearance, which eventually makes us go back to the beginning, to start over again.
The author confesses that he often has 'not correctly inserted the first button in the correct hole' because of inattention and apathy to the task before him. However, this year he resolves to examine all that he does with full attention and interest.
The problem for him seems to arise when he is in a hurry or impatient. When this is the case, he loses time and has to spend more effort to remedy the situation. This also happens in life when the foundational first steps are not carried out correctly.
When one knows the first button is in the wrong hole and goes ahead and ignores the mistake, out of carelessness or a lack of responsibility, one only postpones the inevitable. In time, what was done must be undone by going back to the beginning. This is basic and a first principle.
Similar to a fork in the road, one going West, the other East: If one wants to go East and takes the one going West, the quicker the mistake is realized the better. Being an Asian he will have a chance in just a few weeks to live his resolve for the new year as he prepares for the real New Year, the lunar New Year.
The opportunities, however, are not only limited to a time on the calendar; every new day is a chance to start over and begin afresh. The only problem we might have is the lack of a desire to begin anew.