Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Hope

If Scrooge hates Christmas, I hate New Year's Eve more. I can't explain it, the cheesiness of a date on the calendar motivating the masses to acquire gym memberships, clean out their closets, open books, and initiate temporary change annoys me. So I stay home and watch the ball drop in my sweatpants while the world celebrates.

This morning, in quiet contemplation with my heavenly Father, it occurred to me that a lot of my resistance against this holiday has to do with my frustration with my failure to complete a lot of things in the past year. I often feel a lot like Lot's wife during New Year's Eve, I struggle with moving forward because I can't stop looking back. I look back on how I didn't get my garage cleaned out, I didn't lose that 20 pounds I wanted, I didn't read my bible as much as I wanted, and the list goes on and on…

As I sit here cataloging my list of failures, I feel defeated. I feel deflated. So, I ask myself, how am I to keep moving forward if I keep looking back?

I think about teaching my son to ride a bike. Every time he kept looking back at me, he fell. So looking back taught him 300 ways NOT to ride a bike. He would've never taken off if he had sat there looking at me. He eventually learned to look forward, stop obsessing over falling, and just GO.

You know what? We are all failures. We all have an unfinished list of things we didn't accomplish, we all have a highlight reel of our greatest regrets playing on repeat in our heads, and we cannot move forward unless we embrace those failures, learn from them, and GO.

When you look at your failures this way, failure no longer owns you. Failure becomes growth. Failure becomes hope. And our hope rests in Him.

Paul talked about this:

So, the real highlight reel you need to be playing in your head is not of your failures. It is the highlight reel of God's goodness. His blessings He has given you in spite of your failures. We can be grateful for what has been FREELY given instead of dwelling on what we didn't accomplish. That, my friends, is the greatest gift of all.

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