New Year New Me, Not Really

On Sunday after church, my family and I went to my parent’s house for New Year’s day dinner. This wasn’t an ordinary dinner, this was special, because for as long as I can remember on New Year’s day we have black eyed peas, cabbage, and hog’s jaw.

We have some other items too, like creamed corn, mashed potatoes, pinto beans, and cornbread, but these items don’t carry the magical powers of black eye peas, cabbage, and hog’s jaw.

According to tradition, black eyed peas give you good health and luck, cabbage helps you financially, and hog’s jaw keeps you looking towards what’s ahead. They’re what some may call the holy trinity of southern cuisine, as long as they’re eaten on New Year’s day.

So, everyone in my family filled up their plates in hopes of good health and prosperity this year.

Now, will it work? 

I highly doubt it, and it’s not just because I only ate a handful of peas and I absolutely refuse to eat cabbage. I don’t care how much pepper you add, it still tastes like the bitter tears of a middle school break up.

It doesn’t work because it’s too easy. It doesn’t require anything of you. And life just doesn’t work like that.

I sometimes wish it did, but it doesn’t.

If you want good health you have to work for it. Sure, you can buy into the magical acai berries, but at the end of the year you end up poorer and just as out of shape. There’s no substitute for eating healthy and exercising. I wish there was.

If you want more money in your bank account, you have to make good financial decisions. You have to educate yourself, and stop trusting other people with your money. Just because the car dealership or the mortgage company will approve it, doesn’t mean you can actually afford it. You want to prosper financially, you have to track your spending. If you don’t, I can guarantee you’re spending more than you think.

You want a better future for you and your family, you should put God first. Make attending church every week a priority. Begin serving and giving. Get in community with other believers. Read your Bible every day. Pray. Take your spouse on dates. Play games with your kids. Forgive those who’ve done you wrong, and find joy and contentment in the little things.

That’s what I’m going to try to do, because I haven’t been able to find an easier way, and I refuse to eat the cabbage.

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