“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
“Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old times since?”
“” is a Scottish poem written by in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song often sung to celebrate the start of the new year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day.
The song’s (Scots) title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago” or “days gone by.” (Online )
I am a very sentimental and nostalgic type of person. Too often I look back at “days gone by” and am astonished at the rapid speed of life and how everything around me is consistently changing. I am a creature of habit, so it’s difficult for me to let go of anyone or anything. The good news is that I have grown to appreciate the “now” due to this gift of treasuring things of old.
I recall a few years ago when my son was in the third or fourth grade. We drove by Huffman United Methodist Church while on an errand, and he spoke of “the good ole days” reflecting on his daycare experience. I just had to laugh considering how Connor had taken after me in that realm of his emotions.
The holiday season all too often is a time that brings to mind the past for most, if not all people. Unfortunately, for so many people, it can be a time of elevated sadness, because of the pain that they may remember regarding their past. It can be a time of anxiety or depression — but it doesn’t have to be.
We can choose to dwell on the joyful times of our past even if some of those joyful times intertwine with memories that can hurt. Pastor Chris shared in his message yesterday how the best way to deal with our past is to build on it. How many times have we caught ourselves saying…”If only…”? We often attempt to cope with our past in many unbiblical ways, by burying it, beating ourselves up over it, or simply by blaming others.
However, the Lord wants us to leave the bad under the God is in control no matter what our circumstances in life may be. Pastor Chris defines HOPE as a “confident expectation based on something solid.” . He wants us to forget unpleasant past memories and press toward the prize in an attitude of seeking Him and choosing JOY. In order to claim JOY it’s important that we grasp HOPE. The two go hand in hand. JOY is a confidence that
JUMP FOR JOY! and BE HOPEFUL!
That something SOLID is none other than Jesus Christ. He is the only SOLID ROCK we can stand on with a lifetime guarantee (and an after-this-life guarantee). He never changes, even when everything else around us shifts radically.
Being a creature of habit, that’s the habit I want to keep……forgetting the junk I sometimes stare at in my rear-view mirror, and pressing toward the mark in step with my Savior. By choosing HOPE and JOY we gain the beautiful perspective of God…I call that “Godfidence.”
In closing, I want to share three ways we can focus on the New Year in 2009 with HOPE and JOY. Pastor Chris suggests that we focus on prayer, focus on people, and focus on our purpose.
PRAYER PEOPLE PURPOSE (Noah found out his purpose)
With PRAYER, we can stay connected with the Lord the best way possible. When we focus on PEOPLE, we can build relationships and grow and encourage each other in His PURPOSE and plans for our lives. And, it all goes back to JOY, because we can never really be content and full of joy until we choose to live out our purpose for Him with others.
God bless you all in this New Year ahead. Allow Jesus to be Lord of ALL the areas of your life, not just parts of it!
REJOICE and be FULL of HOPE and JOY….
then you will be FILLED!
2009 – Auld Lang Syne!
Take the lessons of yesterday, apply them to the present, and make the present so beautiful that it will be well worth remembering!