It’s a blessing to be allowed to see a new year!
Of course, this celebrating of moving from one year to the next is entirely in our minds. It often strikes me, as I watch birds and squirrels and other animals going about their business, that they don’t know or care that a new year has started. Only we humans take note.
But there is real significance to entering a new year. It’s a time when we particularly focus on where we are in life. For all of us I’m sure we had a lot of regrets during the old year, things we did, decisions we made, that we wish had never happened. But we get to choose whether those old regrets will define our lives in this new year.
That’s what I think the apostle Paul is showing us as he shares his approach to life:
Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Those regrets for what didn’t go right in our lives in the year just past – leave them in the past with the old year! Forget them (except to learn from them, so we don’t repeat the same mistakes).
This new year represents a whole set of new opportunities to fulfill the calling for which God has placed each of us on the earth in this time and place. So, reach forward to those things which are ahead!
That’s what the turning of the calendar from December to January ought to represent: determination to press forward in hope, rather than linger over the regrets of the past.