New Year Perspective
By Doug Harrell
As we are entering another New Year hopefully, we will all take a few minutes and reflect on the past year, but our main focus will be on the coming year. Having memories of the past is important in that it gives us a basis to move forward. It’s a benchmark of the past that we can learn from. The critical point is that we use the past as a steppingstone into the future, a springboard to the new and exciting horizon ahead. So many times, especially when we are up in age, we tend to want to live in the past and lose the joy of anticipation for the adventures that lay ahead. We tend to quit living and dreaming of things to come and instead dwell on our past successes or failures that we have encountered. The old saying that a rolling stone gathers no moss is still true. A lake that has no outlet will soon become dead and our lives are the same way. When we lose our desire to continue to move forward into new ventures and to seek to be of continued service to those around us, we lose that spark of interest that is vital to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
As a new year comes, stop and reflect on the past year but realize that it is the past. Be determined to live life to the fullest as long as you have breath and can take nourishment. Set aside time by yourself or with your mate if you are blessed to have one and discuss, think about, and set goals for things you would like to experience or make happen in the coming year. Take time and set down the five most important things in your life and set the priorities. Once you do that, think about what you need to do to put the time into those things that relate to the priorities you have set. The Bible tells us that a man without a vision shall perish, and this is so true. Your age in years is not as critical as the age in your mind. Associate with and cultivate friendships with those that are younger, and you will both gain from the experience. If you are blessed with children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, invest some time with them.
The relationship that should be of most importance to each of us is the relationship with our Heavenly Father. Are you truly investing in and building this relationship? Reading your Bible on Sunday will probably never help you develop that close personal relationship that bears the fruit of closeness and companionship that we should all crave. We are told that even Jesus arose early before morning light to go spend time in prayer with God. If even Jesus felt the need, how about you and me? In just the past week or so I have lost some friends. The losses saddened me and made me realize even more how short our days are on this old earth.
The last thing I want to address is to live for today and enjoy the journey of life. Life is not a destination but a continual journey. I wrote earlier about looking for ways to do more in the coming years but make sure those things that you are focusing on are things of eternal importance, not things on this earth that will rust and fade away. Don’t worry so much about your barns being full, your bank account being fat, and your car and house being the best on the block. Worry instead about the impact you will have on your family, friends, and neighbors. Will your having been here make a difference in their lives? Your legacy will be measured by the lives that you touched, not the money you left.
Have a wonderful and blessed New Year!
Doug Harrell is a life-long resident of Mitchell County, Owner of Harrell Hill Farms, a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church, and former publisher of Blue Ridge Christian News. You can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/doug.harrell.77
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