As we approach a new year on our calendars, I think it’s appropriate and good to look back on the past year, 2011, as well as looking ahead to 2012. When Paul said forgetting what was behind, he was thinking in terms of the old life he had left behind with all its accoutrements, or what was held dear in the old life. As Paul pressed ahead in the new life in Christ.
Looking back on 2011, I have to say I am amazed it’s over. When beginning to write this post I first thought of 2010, then 2011. Had to bump myself up a year! The year goes fast, time flies. In fact the older one gets, the more this seems to be true. Even for scientific, psychological reasons, it’s been said. And also as a matter of perspective (related to the psychological). On the other hand we can learn to treasure what time we have with God, loved ones, ourselves, and creation.
2011 I see as a year of growth spiritually for me, and out from that in probably every other way that is important. Speaking here only of ways I’m aware of. There are certainly other areas untouched, which the Lord in due time will bring to light. But I’m thankful for the growth, and for experiencing the Lord’s faithfulness throughout. Both in times of need, as well as simply overall. In some ways, as I remember 2011, I think it was an important year for me. The beginning one might say, of a kind of breakthrough.
Without the faithful pastors I have, Jack and Sharon Brown, I don’t think this would have occurred. I’m thankful too for my faithful, sweet wife, who helps me much more than I help her, I’m afraid. And for true friends along the way. And above all the God from whom all blessings flow: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to whom be all glory and praise forevermore. Amen.
For some reason a sense of dread has hit me, not really about the future as much as the present, but that is where I live, in and out, so I’m more or less used to what is hard to get used to. But I’ve learned through life that God is faithful in just the ways we need to help us along in the way of Jesus. Of course we need to be in scripture daily, or regularly and significantly. And learn to depend on the Spirit to give us a sense of what that means, and how we are to live out the way in Jesus day to day. Through trials, in blessings and everything in between.
Looking forward to 2012 I have my own hopes along with the fears. But one thing I can count on for sure: God will be faithful. It is like a blank sheet ahead. We don’t know what a day may bring forth, for that matter. On the other hand, we can think ahead with some imagination what we’d like to see in God’s will in Jesus. For the world, in our world, in our hearts, for our loved ones, for family and friends. And pray along those lines.
As we turn the calendars (some already have!) I will continue to pray with others in and through Jesus, this prayer:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one,
for yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory