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Friday, January 1, 2016

Today’s Reading | Isaiah 43:16–21

Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. (NRSV)

What a wonderful reminder from our God on this first day of a new year that we should “forget the former things” and “not dwell on the past.” While it can be a good thing to reflect on the past—to take stock of our blessings and to learn from our mistakes—it can also be crippling. If we spend too much time in the past, if we allow ourselves to dwell there instead of taking moments to remember or reminisce and move on, we miss out on what’s happening in the present. And we can prevent ourselves from seeing what is possible in the future.

So go ahead and take stock of the past year. Reflect on what could have gone better and what you want to change in the new year. Reflect on what went well and give God thanks for those blessings.

But take time to look around at where you are right now too. Be inspired by how you’ve grown and the blessings that are in your life at this moment. Look forward to the new year and remind yourself to look for the ways that God is sowing the seeds to do new things in and through you.

Giver of life, you make all things new. As I embark on a year filled with new blessings, new challenges, and new ways to live out my faith, open my eyes, my ears, my heart, and my hands so that I might see, hear, and feel the new things you are doing in and through me. May my life be devoted to doing your work and giving you praise. Amen.

Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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