A new year
Ecclesiastes 7:10, “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.”
I remember growing. Life was so simple back then … at least as I remember it. More recently, like as in the last year or even 75 days, you may find yourself either rejoicing or lamenting our nation’s political landscape. In either case (joy or lament), the Lord is sovereign and in complete control. He has never, and will never, leave his throne.
King Solomon tells us in God’s word that asking and thinking in such a way is not wise. It seems everyone does it. We’re human. Even Soldiers have an expression that falls into this tendency. They say, “The best unit in the Army is the one you just left.” However, I can say from having been in 10 different units in 34 years that simply is not true. Why then do we tend to look back over our shoulders and think the past was better? I believe because it is part of the “known.” We tend to avoid the unknown as much as possible. The unknown is fertile ground for anxiety and fear. We don’t really like to go there and so we try to simply hold onto the past and remain comfortable.
The year 2020 by most accounts was NOT that pleasant of a year. For many, it was a nightmare. Yet even if we look further back at 2019, 2009, 1999, etc. they were not perfect years either.
On the other hand, this next year is year filled with hope and opportunity. The God of the Bible is always calling his people to look forward. Encouraging them to press on. Have faith. Move forward. Go into the promise land. Grow. Increase. Multiply. Build community. Love others better than you love yourself. Paul wrote the church in Corinth, “The old has gone and the new has come.” With the future, we leave behind us our past failures. Therefore, ignore the disappointments and brokenness of the past. We leave behind sin. Salvation is in front of us. Salvation is always a future we can and must look toward for help. Look forward with hope and anticipation of God’s promises. The only exception in Scripture where God teaches us to look back is when we are to look back and remember His faithfulness to us. That is it. Only what God accomplishes for us is worthy to recall. Otherwise, we press forward. Jesus went before us. He is preparing a place for us.
By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Scott Koeman