As one year closes and another is about to dawn upon us, many of us are looking ahead with resolutions, dreams, and plans.
Some people are naturally more future-oriented, others prefer stay focused in the present, and others look back often on the past. May I recommend that in heading into a New Year, each of us take a cue from all three perspectives?
To enhance your present and future joy, before diving into dreaming and planning ahead, glance back over your shoulder – not just at the year that is closing – but at that long and winding road that brought you to this time and place.
Something beautiful happens when you do…
Take a few moments to let your mind wander down the road of your life, thinking back on your mountain-top experiences, as well as all the valleys you’ve traversed through.
As you think on these things, you realize that God has been there for you all along. And has guided you each step of the way with such faithfulness, provision, love and care. Even in those times when you were in the wilderness of your life (and we’ve all had those).
Allow an attitude of gratitude to release praise and thanksgiving from your heart. Take some time to truly thank God. There may be a few tears that flow also. If so, let ’em roll. Thank Him for all the good times and for all the character-shaping hard times also.
Thank Him for the people you’ve met on your journey, and for those you’ve yet to meet; for the experiences you’ve had, for where you are right now, and for experiences still to come.
The beauty in looking back before you look forward is that it gives you a fresh perspective: you think differently about the past, the present, and the future.
You realize that there is a reason for your life and a master plan that God has just for you.
This is reason enough to be filled with hope, peace, and joy for the future.
But there’s more:
With this perspective of meaning, you will find yourself inclined to dream and create more fulfilling plans and resolutions for this coming year that affect you, of course, but also that affect others in a positive way.
This kind of journey in life has been shown to the most satisfying to the soul and will leave you with a smile on your face during, and at the end, of your life.
So enhance your joy today, take some time this end-of-year to look back on the road of your life before you look forward.
Then prepare to experience the exciting things that God has in store for you in 2017.
Here’s to a wonderful year ahead for you!
God Knows – Poem by Minnie Louise Haskins, 1908
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
This beautiful and famous poem has been read and quoted by many, including HRH The Queen, the Queen Mother, and George VI, for its timeless message. It was also inspiring to the British public during World War II.
My mother often quoted it to me and I loved it. Until now, I had not, however, heard the second part and find it just as tremendous as the first few lines. Here is the rest of this powerful poem:
So heart be still;
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.
God knows. His will Is best.
The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.
Until God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.
As you stand at the gate of the year 2014, I pray God will lead you and direct your steps. If we walk in His will for our lives, there’s no greater joy we can find.
When like a tune, late afternoon
Sunlight plays on roses
And crisp, fall air, becomes a stair
To walk from summer’s poses.
And with the fade, a serenade
To mark the changing season
The sound of flight, as birds alight,
Warmth and south, their reason.
As colors change and leaves arrange
In such extravaganza
You’ll hear and see, a melody,
That creates September’s stanza.
As nights draw in, the gentle rain
May soothe the soul and heart
And harvest gains of fruit-filled lanes,
Play a harmonizing part.
Embrace the autumn serenade
Hear what others miss!
Let sweet notes of fall, fill your soul
Raise your cheek to nature’s kiss!
~ Kim Batson
Sometimes I wax a bit poetic and this first week of autumn seems to be one of those times. My hope is that through these few verses you would take a moment to pause and reflect on the gift of God we are given in the changing seasons. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!
If you prefer to hear this poem spoken, with visuals attached, check out the video version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pkJSmRtRoU
A short poem for this first week of autumn – my hope is that through these few verses you would take a moment to pause and reflect on the gift of God we are given in the changing seasons. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!
~ Kim Batson, Joy on the Journey
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So, a meteor hit the earth on Friday, during breakfast, of all things. Or just before. There we were, hubby and I quietly sipping our tea and reading the WSJ. Thinking we might also check the TV for up-to-the-minute headlines, we almost didn’t bother. “TV news is so boring lately.” one of us said. But we hit the remote anyway, just in time to hear:
“A meteor hurtling at 33,000 miles per hour hit the earth in the past hour and we are switching over to Greg Palkot in London for the latest…” Like lightening, we quickly glanced at each other…so, nothing happening, eh? Has London been obliterated in the past hour?
Thank God, it hadn’t, but hey, a shock for a Brit to hear first thing in the morning. Certainly felt for the Russians though. Goes to show you, you never know what a day may bring…
It brings to mind that we are a tiny planet in a large galaxy. When was the last time you simply gazed up at the stars on a clear night and were struck by the majesty of it all. Has it been a while? A long while?
How easy to become so immersed in the mundane things of life and lose the wonder of it all. Losing that child-like, and joyful, quality of wonder.
There is something awe-striking about pondering the wonder of this great creation, and the wonder of God who created it all. As someone so eloquently said on Twitter recently: “Yes, I believe in a ‘big bang’, there must have been quite a ‘big bang’ when God said, “Let there be light!”
It’s also interesting how our lives are put into perspective when a meteor strikes, or simply when we gaze at the stars above us. We are not the center of the universe after all. Not the big-shots we think we are. There is Someone much greater. Massively greater. Someone whose thoughts are infinitely greater than ours. The Bible says it this way: “My thoughts are so much higher than your thoughts, and my ways than your ways, says the Lord.”
Take a moment today to bring back the wonder into your life. Wonder at the wonder of it all, and the wonder of God. Enjoy again the simple joy of wonder.
And remember those Russians in your prayers.