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Anchors and Springboards

by Skip Heitzig |
You've just entered a place you've never been before. It's a new year. You have a whole new allotment of 8760 hours, or 525,600 minutes, for new experiences and new adventures.

The New Year is traditionally a time of evaluation, and there's a long history for that idea. The ancient Romans looked to one of their gods, Janus, at this time of year. He was the twin-faced god of the gates, looking backward and forward to see who was coming in and who was going out. Since he was the guardian of the entry or the beginning of a journey, they named a month for him--January--and they made it the first month on their calendar. They imagined Janus looking backward at the year that was behind, as well as forward at the year that was ahead of them.

So it's a time of looking back, and a time of looking forward. But looking back can be frustrating, and it can be confusing, if you're trying to move forward. You and I can only look in one direction. We can look backward and think, "What a bummer this year has been, what a drag...all those bad things that happened." But what we're called to do, rather than spend too much time dwelling on the past, is to spend most of our energy looking forward.

Paul the apostle made a great resolution. I don't think he necessarily made it at the beginning of the year, but he said, "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

It's good to look back a little bit, for the purpose of getting our bearings, and to see what mistakes not to make again. There's no problem in having the past as a reference point, but don't let it become an anchor. If it becomes a springboard to launch you forward, great. If it becomes an anchor and weighs you down, it's bad for you. Let it go.

So here we are, starting a new year. This is when I get philosophical as I spend some time with my last year's journal and look back over what I wrote, where I was, and where the Lord wanted to bring me. I invite you to do that as well, or if you don't have a journal, now is a great time to start one. But however you reflect back on the past year, use it as a springboard. Don't let it bring you down.

Happy New Year!

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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