It's that time again.
A new year.
A new decade, too.
Some people reflect on the past.
Others look ahead.
Sometimes, God's Word says to look back and remember.
- And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, ... Exodus 13:3
- Jesus asked, "You of little faith, ... Don't you remember ... ? Matt 16:8-10
- No one in the field should go back for anything... Remember Lot's wife! Luke 17:32
- Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62
- Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25
- But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal ... Phil. 3:13-14
- Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. Josh 24:15
- Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt. 6:34
Do I look back or not?
Do I look ahead or not?
What's a girl to do?
After compiling 4 pages of Scripture verses on both sides of this issue, I have arrived at the following conclusion:
There is a time to look back and remember, as long as our looking back is not filled with regretting and remorse.
Over and over, when the Lord talks about remembering, it is the covenant He made with His people that He remembers(Gen. 9:15).
Jesus' closing words to His disciples at the Last Supper include exhortations to "remember the words I spoke to you." (Jn 15:20)
David remembered the works of God. "I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. Psalm 143:5
As for our sin, that He chooses to forget (Heb. 10:17).
Oh, thank you, Jesus!
Corrie ten Boom said, "When God buries your sins in the deepest sea, He posts a sign that says No Fishing Allowed!"
Time spent rehashing "could've, should've, would've" is time wasted. In a recent email I received, author Cec Murphy said, "No matter how many times I examine the past, there's nothing I can do to make it different."
Okay, so here it is -
Remember His words, remember His works, and remember the "great cloud of witnesses" that the writer of Hebrews mentions - those people like us who have gone before us, have had experiences like ours, have been victorious and are now cheering us on in our race of life.
Learning from past mistakes is worthwhile, but regurgitating the past is just futile.
At this time of New Year resolutions, we look back and evaluate how far we've come. We look forward and see how far we have to go. We set goals and make plans. My friend, Jean from Encouraging Words, said, "I can usually handle planning my work. But I've come to realize that I fall short in the area of working my plan." How true those words are for me, which is why I often regret looking back.
I recently saw a magazine with the headline, "Carpe Annum!" I so want to seize 2010, but it seems too awesome a task. Yet time is so fleeting. Can you believe Y2K was 10 years ago!! We need to make the most of every opportunity.
The key for me is found in Psalm 118:24:
"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
How do I seize the year? Hmmmm - Carpe Diem - day by day.
The caption above says,
"Every moment is an opportunity for those who are ready to seize it."
In the movie "Dead Poets Society," Robin Williams quotes John Keating when he says, "Carpe diem.
Seize the day, boys.
Make your lives extraordinary."
Well, friends, I guess it's about time I take my own advice :)