Happy New Year dear reader! Ready or not here it is! The New Year, as exciting as it is, it (sadly for me) marks the end of the Christmas season. To that, some of you may be saying, “Yes! Thank goodness!” But who else out there is like me? The house always seems so bleak once the bright lights come down, all the pretty greenery and decorations are tucked back up in the attic along with the Nativity Scene until next Christmas. Nevertheless there’s a part of me that’s always a bit eager to get into the new year. There’s something promising, hopeful almost, like a fresh start about the beginning of a new year.
And yet, while looking ahead, I tend to look into the rear-view mirror of the past year as well. Do you do that too? At the moments you treasured, the good, the bad, the hurtful, the joyful, frustrating, devastating, miraculous, the (fill in the blank). I don’t think I’m alone in this—T.V. and radio love their year-end countdowns from politics to sports and everything in between and don’t forget the top charted songs. But life, unlike T.V. or the radio doesn’t just halt at the end of one year and begin again at the stroke of midnight January One. Our lives are not a countdown and often the issues we had to deal with in the past year will follow us into the new year. Encouraging right? But don’t despair—there is hope!
Life is full of highs and lows so as you look in the rear-view at 2018, what highs encourage you to keep going and set new goals? What lows encourage you to take that first step in a new direction you want to go? Do you want to eat healthier? Make time to spend with God? Make amends with someone? Seek help dealing with that tragic thing that happened to you? Whatever it is, I would like to encourage you to take that first, small step—that’s all you need to do at first—then you’ll take another then another. You may stumble, it’s okay—give yourself grace, get back up and take another step, but don’t stop moving and don’t quit! You can do it—stop telling yourself you can’t! The hardest mind to change is your own but you can change it and along the way you’ll experience small victories and moments to treasure. And remember, you’re never alone, God is always with you and is cheering you along the way! Jesus says in Matthew 28:20,“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Write that on your mirror or on your phone, wherever you will see it to remind yourself that you have the Prince of Peace right there with you and that you can do it!
So, when we reach the end of 2019 and you’re looking the rear-view mirror again at another year past, will it look the same as 2018, or will you see the footprints of the steps you took toward reaching your goal? Oh, and don’t forget to seek those moments to treasure along the way!