Would you ever like a do-over? You know, like when you were a Junior high kid playing a game of “pig” with your buddies in the driveway and you missed a shot because something (or more like someone–one of your round ball adversaries) distracted you from making your best shot and you called out “DO OVER!” You wanted another chance to do it better than you did the first time.
Do you ever feel that way at this time of the year? As you take an over-the-shoulder glance back at the year that has quickly passed as you’ve been busy living your life, what’s the predominant feeling you are experiencing? Right now, stop amid the holiday festivities and flurry of celebrations and ask yourself this question: “Was this a good year?” Was it? If so, why? If not, why not?
Do you respond to that question with confidence like, “Yes, this was a good year.” Or, is it more the feeling of “I wish I had a do-over?”
Come on, now, be honest with me. Which is the feeling that tugs at your heart the most?
The sad thing about life is that we often look back with regrets. And I’m not talking just a few of us. All of us do that at one point or another. Maybe that’s why we are so good at avoiding opportunities to look back and take stock of the year in review. Maybe we’re just afraid to admit to ourselves, much less to another person, that this is a year we just wish we could do over.
But in life, unlike the driveway version of “pig” we played as kids, there are no “do-overs.” The point of looking back isn’t merely to lament what we didn’t do or what we did do or what we wish we’d done. The point to looking back to learn from all the experiences over the past year–the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful–so that we can write a better future in the coming year. We get to “do-different” or to “do better.”
So, here’s the challenge. Carve out some time for personal reflection before the hoopla of the New Year’s holiday celebrations. I know it’s tough. I’m trying to figure out when to do that too. But, please remember that you’re worth it. Your life has had many twists and turns over the past year. Take the time to appreciate them all. You can learn from the good times as well as the bad. Express your gratefulness to God for what you’ve learned, and then make some plans with Him in mind for this new year. More about the looking forward thing later, but for now, take the time to look back and remember.
Life isn’t an event . . . it’s a journey.
Oh, yea, and Happy New Year!