Reflections on the New Year

As we put the finishing touches on a rather inauspicious year it begs the question, “How do you reflect upon yesterday while embracing today and at the same time longing for brighter tomorrows?”  The bible is full of stories of transitions, comings and goings, events that change history and lives, defining moments of faith; colossal failures, life and death, freedom and slavery and all the while we are admonished to remember the past, live in the present and keep an eye to the future.

Let me give you three suggestions:  First, encourage your family by reflecting on the good things of the past.  There’s nothing like a good camp fire talk.  There is the story in the Old Testament book of Joshua. Moses has died and Joshua is now at the leadership helm. They are camped at the Jordon preparing to cross over.  I can only imagine the excitement as they sat around the camp fire talking about the last 40 years and acknowledging the fact that they probably weren’t going to sleep because of what was about to happen.  At the same time their campfire conversations probably took a turn toward reflection and reverence as they remembered how God’s faithfulness had sustained them.

Growing up, some of my favorite experiences were when I was camping; sitting around a campfire watching the flames, singing songs, laughing at corny jokes.  Even in my kids still talk about our Father’s Day camping trip to the Utopia river where we played in crystal clear water, had a gargling contest, which my oldest daughter proudly won with her gargling of the star spangled banner and of course the raccoons who got into the trash that I had hung in the tree even though my wife had said that we should take it to the trash bend.  Remembering the past can inform and encourage you in the present.

Second, envision how you’re going to follow God in 2010.  Joshua instructed the children of Israel to “follow Ark of the Covenant then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before”.  So, who are you following into the uncertain, unchartered waters of 2010?  Are you going to keep in step with Spirit of God or chart your own path?  I can remember being in Jungle warfare school in Panama when I was in the 82nd Airborne.  During night maneuvers it was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. Yet I was able to traverse the jungle floor by watching a small piece of reflective tape on the back of the guys helmet in front of me.  It reminded me a lot of what Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ.”  You have to keep your eyes on the one who is really in control, the one who knows the way … Jesus.

Lastly, expect great things in 2010.  When you leave the direction, the choices and even the destination to God, He will always choose the best.  So commit yourself fully to trusting God’s leadership in your life or as Joshua told the children of Israel, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”  Hind sight is always 20/20 so looking back over my life I am amazed at all that God has done in spite of me. It excites me to think that 2010 is already on the heart and mind of God.  He has plan and purpose and is ready to do amazing things if I am willing to consecrate or set my self apart for his purposes!

Let’s embark on the journey with the full assurance that God is leading, we are following and amazing things are about to happen!

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