As we begin 2017, it is good to think about what has been and what is to come. There were many people who started 2016 not knowing that it would be their last. I’ve known them. And so have you. We are not so different from them, are we?
When I look in the rearview mirror, I see the years gathering up behind me, and I can hardly believe how quickly they’ve piled up. As life rattles forward, it seems the earth makes its annual journey a little quicker than the year before. Where have the years gone?
It’s well past time for me to start wondering whether there may be more years behind me than there are in front of me. I don’t mean to be dour or macabre in saying such a thing. It’s just that pondering that possibility tends to focus the mind on what God wants it focused on. Numbering our days is how we present to God a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:10-12). As the ball drops into the silliness of Time Square, it anchors the soul to know how transient you really are (Psalm 39:4).
There are a lot of things that I want out of life—a lot of things I’d like to achieve before the curtain falls. But there is one thing I know for sure. As I watch the curse grind up the world and everyone I love in it, there is only one thing that really matters to me. If I fail at everything else, I must have this: I want to be known by Him, to know Him, and to make Him known. I want to see all of His promises come true (1 Cor. 8:3; Gal. 4:9; Rev. 21:5). All around my heart is eventually going to give way, and when it does I want Him (Phil. 3:7-14). And I want that hope to break in to all the rest of the now’s that God may be pleased to give me. That’s it.
And so I begin this year by sharing the words of a song—“Happy New Year” (listen below, download here). 2017 is another chance to catch a glimpse of what is coming true. The God who made everything is remaking everything—including us. He is making all the sad things come untrue. And He says, “I’m making all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
Knowing that is the only way to have a happy new year. And it’s the only way I know how to wish you to have one.
So, Happy New Year!