This past week my wife needed to use my truck for the day and she kindly left me the keys to her car so that I would still be mobile. It was the first time I had driven her car which we just bought in November and I have to tell you I was a little excited to get to drive the car with all of its fancy thrills. As I drove along the road I immediately noticed that the rearview mirrors would blink and chirp with warnings anytime something came into my blind spots. It was a subtle reminder of the things that were behind me. I liked it for a minute, but it became far too easy to focus on the things behind me that I almost hit something in front of me. It was another reminder that while it is important to “glance in the rearview mirror, we must always glare out of the windshield.”
As we are into the new year, I hope that the decorations, deliberations, decisions, and distractions of the last year are now fully behind us. That’s the rearview mirror. We must decide how we will face 2018 and all of the future. My heart’s belief is that we will have unprecedented opportunities in the coming year. Listen to what Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi:
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved or reached perfection. But I press on but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT) paraphrased
I think we are given a few words that should describe our outlook for 2018.
1) FAITH: I trust that you will face this year from a position of faith. Absolute faith in God, and confidence to do all that you are assigned to do. Faith is understanding the truth that God alone is in control and you only have charge over the assignments He entrusts to you. I pray that you will be a person of faith!
2) FOCUS: As I have written before this word can best be understood with the phrase, “Filtering Out Clutter Unlocks Success” and it has always proven to be true. Most of us fail to reach our desired potential because we are so easily distracted. Paul said, I “focus” on one thing. How much more productive will be all be when we remove the clutter and hone in on one thing (at a time)?
3) FORGIVENESS: One of the most damaging emotional traps fall in to is that of an un-forgiving spirit. I know too many people that constantly hold on to resentment and frustration for something over which they have no sway. If you have wronged another seek their forgiveness. If you have been wronged, simply choose to forgive them. The board is cleaned by a simple swipe of the eraser. Paul could forget because he forgave.
4) FELLOWSHIP: Too often we try to face the seas and storms of life all alone. We forget that God created to live and operate inside of fellowship and relationship. We need and require fellowship with God and with those around us. I like to think of fellowship as “two fellows in a ship.” I know it is a bit corny but it works. We need to have someone else in the ship with us to navigate the waters and sometime we will even disagree about the best way to move the ship, but with still need others. Work on the fellowship aspect of your lives this year.
5) FORWARD: Paul said it this way — Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race… and that is what we must do in the new year to realize God’s best for us. Much must keep moving forward. Spiritually, I want to know that all my past has been forgiven and forgotten and is covered by the blood of Jesus and that by His grace our greatest days are in front of us.
I am looking forward to what God is going to do in all of our lives. I trust you will join me on this journey of faith expecting and knowing that “The best is yet to be.”