LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD
Two things always come immediately to my mind whenever I contemplate the action of “looking back.” The first is Lot’s wife looking back when leaving Sodom although she had been specifically commanded not to do so (Gen. 19). The second is Paul’s declaration that he forgets what lies behind and reaches forward to what lies ahead (Phil. 3:13). There is a strong lesson to be learned about the dangers of dwelling in or holding on to the past.
Even though Paul let go of the things behind him, he did not erase them from his memory. Rather, he allowed them to move him forward on to better, more faithful service to the Lord (1 Tim. 1:12-17). At the end of the year, it is customary for us to “look back” over the year we have just lived. Hopefully, we do so in contemplation of the year ahead. We remember the good times and bad times, the sadness and the joy, the successes and the failures.
Today, our calendars indicate the year 2017 is ending. Tomorrow a new year begins. What experiences, people, joys, heartbreaks, etc. are filling your mind? For some of us, we are happy to be tossing it into the trash bag and seeing it carried off. For others, there are mixed emotions, because we experienced and enjoyed precious moments and life-affirming events that left indelible impressions on us and we don’t want them to drift away from our hearts and minds.
Among 2017’s occurrences are the spiritual events and moments. As we are looking forward to this coming year, how will these things impact us?
- Am I at the same spiritual maturity I was a year ago?
- Has my relationship with the Lord deepened?
- Am I praying more often and more deeply giving God the praise for His care and answers to my prayers?
- Is my relationship with my brethren closer and more fulfilling to me?
- Have I become a better, more diligent servant than I was the previous year?
- Did I become more comfortable and active in talking with others about God and my own Christianity?
- Am I more devoted and secure in my place in the South Fayette church now?
- Am I continuing to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18)
Considering these things, we should be excited about what lies ahead. If the Lord wills, we will do whatever we need to do next year. With His help, guidance and love we can do all things to bring honor and glory to His name.