One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in Philippians 3:13b-14. “But this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Though applicable each and every day, these verses from Paul’s writings are especially apropos as an old year ends and a new one begins. This is because celebrating a new year particularly lends itself to letting go of the past and leaning into the present and future.
One of the most meaningful ways I have found to do this is by spending the days between Christmas and the New Year reflecting on the past and setting goals for the future. The reflection time consists of thanking God for the blessings, asking God’s forgiveness for my missteps and identifying learnings I gained through the course of the past year. The goal-setting focuses me on the possibilities of the coming year.
As 2020 draws to a close, I feel an extra pull toward this annual habit. Deep in my spirit I sense the importance of “mining” what God has to teach me from the experiences of this difficult, heart-rending, challenging and humbling year! This also equips me to release 2020 and enter 2021 with hope and gratitude.
Questions bubbling up in me include:
You may have a very different process for letting go of the old and moving into the new. If not, I invite you to join me in reflecting on 2020 and setting goals for 2021 as action steps flowing out of Philippians 3:13b-14. After all, one of the great principles of Christian living is to put the past behind us and press on toward the future.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference