We might be standing in the dawn of a New Year with questions running all over our minds, whether this New Year will bring something good or will it be bad? Will it set the things right or will it make things worse? Am I walking in the right path or do I need a change? Well, flipping through the pages of yesteryears, we might find some pages filled with joy while some with sorrow; some pages of fullness in life while some others of emptiness; some with sense of achievement while some others with sense of rejection and we might be wondering what this New Year will have in store for us?
As we step into this New Year carrying these emotional baggage like pride of success and regrets of the past, one thing God would like us to do is “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” (Philippians 3:13). Examining these lines of Paul, in his own life, he had greater things to regret on. He approved the killing of Stephen, the first martyr for Christ and was breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. One deep emotion of regret throughout life, on looking his past! He also had greater successes to be proud of. Through his missionary journeys, he had established churches across the continent. But he didn’t allow him to be carried away by his past. The regrets of the past and the pride of our success can only pull us down. Let us remember that the only reason God took us through those experiences was to bring us closer to him. Taking the learning of the past, let us forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead.
One tradition of the New Year is making resolutions and setting up goals for the year! Resolutions to lose weight or to build weight, to reduce expenses or to buy costly gadgets, to perform well in the job or to find a new job and so on. Setting goals is stimulating, but it’s important to keep the motivation right. Continuing the same verse, Paul says, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. When management experts teach us about various goal setting principles, as believers it’s important for us to understand that our primary goal is to glorify God, the heavenward goal! The goals of our personal, family, professional, social and spiritual life are all to glorify God.
The only person who can clarify the goals for the creation is the Creator himself. The purpose of our living becomes clear to us when we learn to continuously seek the Creator for His will in our day to day life. The purpose of the technology we know, the possession we have, the profession we do, the education we got, the family we are put in, the ministry we are involved with, the society we are living in and our own personal life will get the creators perspective when we have this constant walk with God. Jesus clearly puts this in his sermon “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt 6:33). Setting our goals in order to press on towards winning the prize for which God has called us heavenward, will enable us to align our lives to the Creator’s will and to live the purpose of our lives.
Yes, our life journey becomes an excitement when it becomes a journey with Jesus. When we look unto the Lord constantly, the storms and pains will only bring us closer to the Lord and indeed we are bound to have a great New Year.