"I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." (NIV) Psalm 16:8
The New Year means many things to people. For some it is a time to set those New Year's Resolutions. For others, it's a fresh start and new beginnings. For other people, it can be dismal and dreary. Not just because winter is settling in and, for us in New England, that means cold and snow. It can be difficult to let go of the past and to move forward. This was extremely evident in our household a few weeks ago, when we decided to clean out a room in the basement.
The room was stacked with boxes and stuff. One can imagine with four children and two adults, we can accumulate much stuff. Our oldest daughter, Sarah, moved out a couple of years ago into an apartment outside of Boston. With not much storage space, she has kept a few boxes at our house until the day when she moves into something a little larger. So, it was the day to go through the boxes and start deciding what she actually NEEDED and what she could part with.
Sarah enjoys holding on to stuff - memories. For her, each item came with a memory, a part of her past. It could have been a certain ticket stub, a paper she wrote for 8th grade, etc - all of them brought back memories. For me and our project of cleaning & organizing, it was stuff. For Sarah, she was parting with memories. I mean really, a ticket stub - but for Sarah it was much more.
Watching Sarah's reaction (as well as my own), made me think of memories and movement. When do we hold onto memories so tight that we don't want to move forward with anything new? I have done this as well throughout my life. Whether it was a special memento or a special moment, those memories had me holding on to the past. Sometimes those memories are good ones, sometimes they are not so good. Either way, memories can prevent us at times from making strides forward, either in relationships, work, or life. Enjoying the old way we do things, enjoying the way things "were" can stop us from setting new sights to our future.
As this new year begins, it is time for me to step out of the memory box and into the movement arena. This can be scary at times - okay, it can be scary ALL the time. Yet, we have someone who is always there to guide us and help us into the movement arena. As our verse for today points out, the Dear Lord is on our side - always a step ahead of us. While we are stepping into "new" situations and "new" adventures, our Dear Lord is there with us. We need to remember to open up to Him, share our hesitations and our hopes. God's path is a good one - if our adventures and situations are in line with God's view of our lives, we are in THE BEST hands. It is time for me to experience all that God has for me, and to step forward in the faith that He will be with me, therefore I will not be shaken. I have many new ventures this year ahead of me and I know God will be there every step of the way!
I encourage all of us to see what our Lord has before us, to move forward. Memories are good, as long as they don't inhibit us from seeing all the good that is in store for us if we move. As for Sarah, she really cleaned out many of the boxes that day. It came with tears from all of us as my zeal for "cleaning" met with her memories. Sarah, I thank you for meeting me 1/2 way (or maybe even giving more than 1/2). I know Sarah's future is bright, along with each of my children and the movement they have in front of them. I also know that all who read this have a bright future as well, as we move into new situations. How am I so sure? Because we have God at our right hand. Who better to take the journey with us?
I pray that all have a wonderful year ahead, full of hope, joy, peace and love. May we move forward in faith, praise, and thanksgiving.