“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (NIV)
As December 31 approaches, do you focus more on reflecting on the events of the past year or considering the possibilities that await in the year to come? I’ve been thinking on how I would answer this question, and as much I would like to “look back” at this year and write all about the things that happened, I think I would rather focus on the fresh, new possibilities for 2019.
While I didn’t have a terrible 2018, I wouldn’t classify it as a great year, either. There were some nice highlights including joining our new church, taking some special vacations, enjoying quality time together, and my book being published. But there were also some health struggles with us and our families that overshadow those good things to the point that, if I reflect too much on this past year, I think I might unravel.
So, this year, I’m looking to the future – a bright and exciting future full of endless possibilities! One of my goals is to be more positive, which fits right in with the notion of good things awaiting us in 2019. Another goal is to play my clarinet again (after some 30 years). And I still hold on to my dream of twirling a fire baton! Of course, some of our goals are more frivolous than others, but each of them carry the opportunity for us to grow and meet new people.
What are some of the things you would like to do in 2019? Make a list of a couple of things and then work toward them. I know resolutions are not for everyone, but setting a few “dream goals” is not a bad thing. Is there a hobby you would like to try? A place you would like to see? A habit you would like to overcome? A habit you would like to start? Maybe 2019 is the year for those things.
One goal that will always bear positive fruit in our lives is seeking to grow closer to God. Make him the first priority in your life. Commit your plans to him (Proverbs 16:3) and trust him in everything you do.
Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 that there is a time for everything. Look closely at his list: there are happy times and sad times listed in each verse. This encourages me not to lose hope as I look back on the difficult times of the past, but rather to adjust my focus and look at all of the things that I encounter as a blessing as I press on toward the future.
May God bless you with a bright and exciting new year full of endless possibilities in 2019!