BEGINNING FROM THE END
I don’t intend to seem rude or ungrateful in the least to the numerous friends and family who have offered, “Happy New Year” on some platform-phone, social media and in-person. But I won’t be revealing state secrets when I confess that I find “Happy New Year” all but cliché. Seriously, do we pause to even think of it? Its meaning and weight before hurling “Happy New Year” in the many intriguing styles? What is happy and new and year to you? In retrospect, you all mean well, so, thank you.
Granted, we have much to be grateful for the new Time Address as we will be negotiating our lives in an all-new calendar date called 2013. For this, I am most grateful to my Lord.
So, why must I “BEGINNING FROM THE END?”
While all sorts of gurus embrace the moment by dispensing wisdom and philosophies to live by this New Year, I invite you to God’s word as I make the case for 2013.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead, I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3v13 and 14 NET)
The immediate context of these words in Paul’s epistle as read here to the Philippians, is ‘Pursuing the Goal’ of attaining to Christ’s knowledge.
Goals (read…resolutions), friends, is the new hype in town these next few weeks.
How do I start, maneuver and eventually close 2013 in victory? I find three precious truisms in the apostle’s words:
Acknowledging is same as accepting…accepting that my past year(s) was short of its possible glories. It means to fess up to my shortcomings against myself, God and fellow humanity. My relationships might have been short and perhaps I killed in spirit! God have mercy! Paul admits, “I do not consider myself to have attained.” Nor do I. what about you? I acknowledge also my inadequacies without self-pity. This means I need you…I am not an island. And finally, I admit to the fact that I am totally helpless without God. I need you Lord!
The responsibilities of live can be overwhelmingly crowding. Focus therefore, is not an easy one! Focusing means to be ‘single-minded’ as Paul says. I must choose by God’s wisdom which battles to fight and drown all sideshows out of my space. This includes in the words of Paul, “Forgetting the things that are behind.” This must be reached since it is tempting and easy to keep going fishing in waters of my past- past fears and failures…past mistakes and misfortunes. Focusing means in the words of EGWhite, that I “must give all and do all for Christ; for the Redeemer will not accept divided service. Daily I must learn the meaning of self-surrender. I must study the word of God, learning its meaning and obeying its precepts. Thus I may reach the standard of Christian excellence. Day by day God works with me, perfecting the character that is to stand in the time of final test. And day by day I am working out before men and angels a sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings. (AA 483)
Just like the apostle, I will choose my battles, I will drown out the hullabaloo and I will concentrate on the task at hand. My college professor, Dr. Jocelyn Mercado often said, “Focus” and she could repeat it again and again…“Focus” “Focus” “Focus” … How true, I keep realizing!
Paul says, “reaching out for the things that are ahead with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Wow!
An upward move! It brings to mind the song,
I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
Lord, lift me up, and let me stand
By faith on Canaan’s tableland;
A higher plane than I have found,
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where these abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till rest I’ve found,
“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”
Take note however, mobility demands purpose. Purpose inspires that spring; that bounce in my step! It gives some steel, call it even, grit in the seconds and minutes and hours of my day because I live for something beyond just myself. That is purpose! It gives the sparkle on my face, the twinkle in my eyes and an inevitable acceleration to my upward move. My true confidence of course is founded on my Savior and my Lord’s unfailing Word from whom also emanates my purpose.
Oh, I wanna BEGIN THIS YEAR FROM THE END; to behold the glorious prize before me! To keep my eyes on the bull’s eye, to commence my journey from the destination for there is no other safer point to begin apart from my prize- my Lord and my Savior Jesus Christ.
Won’t you join me in this quest?
I thought I should share this insight from this amazing person because its true there is much more to just saying ‘Happy New Year’.
Hope you find it inspiring as I did.