“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” This quote, by author C.S. Lewis, encapsulates modern culture’s view of the turn of the New Year. The New Year holiday has increased in popularity over the past few centuries, but in recent years, it has come to be known as a time to renew commitments, establish new goals, and leave the past behind as people seek to achieve greater heights.
In a year filled with unexpected turns, unfulfilled expectations, and uncertain plans, many are turning to the New Year holiday for a sense of comfort. Maybe focusing on 2021 gives us a sense that things will return to normal as they were before. For some, the New Year holiday is a symbol of the death of a problematic and troubling year which, they hope, will usher in a brighter and better season of life. The consensus seems to be that we should forget 2020 as soon as possible and move on.
There is no question that the New Year takes our minds to fresh starts and new beginnings, but in all of our contemplation, do we stop to consider that God may have planted some seeds in 2020 that are about to burst forth with glorious life? When the disciples showed concern about Jesus’ life being in danger, His response was, “Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12).
What are some things that you had to give up in 2020? What are some plans that fell through? What are the things that God allowed to be taken away? Think about it. When things happen outside of our control, we can either wish their memory away, or we can look to the God of new life and new beginnings. Don’t forget all that happened in 2020, but rather see the glorious plans that God unfolds in 2021 in light of what He allowed this year. As we move forward by His grace, I believe we will see more and more just how much He really is in control.