December 31 marks the end and the beginning. They come in tandem.
We celebrate the beginnings. A marriage. A birth. A new job. And we celebrate the endings. A graduation. A finished project. A race.
Sometimes we are just glad the thing is over, wanting to move on, hoping for something different, something better.
I’ve been both places. Haven’t we all?
Some years I planned and listed goals and worked to accomplish them. Other years I simply put one foot in front of the other, leaning into the wind of adversity, hoping to survive.
As I look back over the year, I ask questions. What did I do with the time I was given? Did I use my days well? Did I appreciate each one? Was I present in the moments?
As my years increase, the days of my life become more precious. I don’t want to spend what I have left foolishly, wasting it on fear, anxiety, unresolved anger, unforgiveness. There is an abundant life offered to me, and I really do want to take hold of it and live it well.
Looking forward, I know there will be joy and sorrow. They run side by side at times. There will be challenges, hard places on the journey, and there will be joy unspeakable and full of glory.
I look forward with hope. That hope is in Someone who has a plan and I’m part of it. Hope calls me to live with courage to press on, to press in, to press forward. When the muck and mire weigh me down, when the rain pours hard and soaking, when the fiery trial burns hot and unrelenting, I hope in the Lord who is God over my life.
There is only One worthy of my hope. He is the One who can redeem my past and give promise to my future.
So I ponder the coming year, the new day, the next tiny second. What am I going to do with the rest of this one wonderful life I’ve been given?
In Him my unfolding year is secure.