For some, 2012 was a great year, while for others it was a year full of pain and heartache. While most years we live, we can barely remember, others stand out as either being amazing or horrific. This is the sad reality we face because we live in a fallen and broken world, so we must make the best use of the time we have because we don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. The things of this world are temporary, here one second and gone the next. The life we live is part of an amazing story, so we must never let go of our faith, hope and dreams. Looking back over our lives, we will regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did do. Life is a journey and it is also an endurance race, one in which we are called to finish well.
My journey has taken me many places and allowed me to do some amazing things, but this last year has left me with some very deep scars that will take time to heal. It is impossible to weigh the good times against the bad times to determine how to rate the year, but that is what I find myself doing. Two of my greatest dreams were realized by becoming a father and pastor in the same year, but even these blessings were bittersweet. Reading I Samuel 9 when Saul set out looking for lost donkeys he came across Samuel a prophet of God who just one day earlier heard from God that Saul would be the leader of Israel. I began to examine my journey wondering when in my quest I would come across my Samuel and have my breakthrough so I could reach my full potential.
Before being hit by a speeding truck while riding my road bike, I was an endurance athlete both running and cycling, so I know firsthand that the last part of any race is the toughest- both physically and mentally. Unable to compete anymore, I still view life this way, so I know I have to be getting close to the finish line because every step I take is harder than the previous one. They call this “hitting the wall” and it is literally like you can’t go any further because there is a wall in front of you and only your training and mental toughness will carry you around/over it and across the finish line. The last marathon I ran I can remember reading the back of someone’s shirt that read, “If found lying on the ground, please drag across finish line.” I found that very amusing and as I passed this person, they read the back of my shirt which read, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can remember them yelling, “thank you; I needed that encouragement.” Our daily life is a race and some of us are lost and need help to get back on course while others need help finding the path to salvation. To make a difference, we ourselves must be different!
Regardless if 2012 was your worst year, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18. Letting go of the past can be one of the hardest things to do. We cling to our past mistakes and let them define who we are, but in Christ we are a new creation. God chooses not to remember our past mistakes, so why should we? He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. A New Year is upon us and I pray it is one full of blessings!