Horns were sounding, people were shouting, and pots were clanging together. Smiling faces were seen everywhere. For everyone likes to welcome a new year in–perhaps because of the sorrows they are leaving behind in the old year or the potential that they believe the new year has, in any event, a new year is generally celebrated by all in their own way.
In the past, I haven’t thought too much about the new year but this time things were different. As I stood there, amongst my friends, counting down the last seconds of 2010 and ringing in the first moments of 2011, I began to realize that every sorrow and every joy, each disappointment and each excitement alike was forever being engrained in the past. They no longer fit under the category of “this year” because they were in 2010 and I wasn’t in that year anymore. I felt as if, even though I still felt pain over some things, that I could really, finally move on from my burdens and live in happiness.
Now, I’m not going to contradict my last post by saying that 2010 was all bad. I didn’t believe that on December 31st, 2010 and I don’t believe it today, January 5th, 2011 either. It’s just that 2010 had it’s hardships, as every year does, and they were hard to get rid of. Now though, I am encompassed by the beautiful feeling of a new beginning to life and a fresh, redeeming start to things that I thought were ruined. And no matter what other new year’s resolutions, dreams, or hopes that I may have for this year, I am going to start by turning my eyes from the past and focusing them on the prize up ahead, so that I may live in the fullness of Christ instead of in the despair of my old self.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
While I don’t think that Paul was talking about facing a new year in that passage, I still think that it applies to this and I believe it to be a good theme verse for my life at this moment. For this is a new year and although I am still the same sinner I was before, haunted by my own sins and the sorrowful consequences of a fallen world, I will not look to the past but instead, I shall turn my eyes to what lies ahead, and focus on continuing my journey to the eternal home with a full heart for Christ. I will remember that my citizenship is in Heaven and that I need to reflect that in my current life here on earth. And I have confidence that I can do this for I know that God will give me the strength and energy that I need to not look back but move forward and live my life the way that it was ordained by Him to be lived…hey, I think that’s worth celebrating too!