The New Year and the Gift of the Past

Pastoral Reflections

The New Year, by default, propels us to look ahead. It is a season that revives our dreams and reboots our goals. So, we tend to make new year resolutions looking forward. These are appropriate.

But by extension, we can be tempted to discard the old year as something past and behind. We want to turn a new page and forget the old. Given the kinds of experiences that some years bring, this is understandable.

However, our past is not rubbish. It can be a valuable gift for the present. In the road of life, the past is like the path already walked. It is in those experiences that we can better grapple with our life’s road and grow in our understanding of our journeys. It is often in casting our eyes back for a moment that we fan up the flames of gratitude. There, we may find those points of gentle affirmations as well as proddings for specific repentance. There may even be healthy outpourings of grief over loss. Those are places where we may “see” certain patterns in the doors God opened and those He closed at points on our path. And, we can find the Spirit of God engaging us from those experiential points of reference in our journeys.

New Years are times to look ahead. In doing so, the past could be a New Year’s gift for the present, especially when untied in humble, honest and grateful ways.

Rev. Donald Nwankwo