|New beginning (Naioth.com)|
As we say goodbye to 2013 and all its joys, tears and consequences, we usher in the new light of 2014. The new year. A brand new page, unstained with iniquity, unwritten, unplanned, unspoiled. It is another chance for us to improve on the things while we still can, to maintain good friendships that have motivated and inspired us, to hope for wonderful things to come, to surround ourselves with people and thoughts that truly matter.
2013 was a great teacher, I started projects that I've only dreamed about. I took risks that seemed a bit far fetched and I have learned much from the roller coaster that is or was 2013. New year resolutions should be a thing of the past, how many people actually follow their list? By the time February rolls around the corner, people forget what they planned to do amongst the busy-ness and in time they move on to fill their lists with other goals. It's good to have goals and plans, it's also good to not be fixated on one horizon. Flexibility allows us certain freedoms and insights to our culture so that our youthfulness doesn't leave too soon. "Youth is the natural time for revolt, experiment and for generous idealism that is eager for action" (H.E.Stearns) but it shouldn't stop there.
All our institutional life combines for the common purpose of teaching us what we ought to be, how we ought to behave, how one should watch themselves when interacting with others. Our education spearheads our success and there are certain interconnected paths and consequences in life that institutions do not have solutions for. One of those is how to envision the future and at the same time deal with the past, the past year, the past week, the past relationship, the past tense. Thankfully, we are made to be breakable in order to learn. I, myself struggled to understand the past, how unforgiving it can be especially for those who have been through the slavery of the past. It's one thing to advise someone to 'move on' and quite another for it to be evident in daily routines.
Yes, we read beautiful quotes on how we learn from our mistakes and how the past should be left alone but it doesn't matter if the whole sky of books fall on you, dealing with the past and its consequences is a task, a daily battle for some, a thief waiting to sneak into the chambers of your heart to strike when you are at your most vulnerable. There is this treasure box called 'memory' that is the enemy sometimes. The past is extremely dangerous when we allow it to rear its ugly head in the 'now'. Thankfully it doesn't really matter what other people judge your past to be. It's the other great reason why we have a God who is not limited by people's opinions.
Paul wrote that he was not perfect or already perfected but one thing he could do was to press on, forgetting those things which are behind (past) and reaching forward to those things which are ahead (future)Philippians 3:13. He knew that the Philippians were imperfect and were in the business of condemning themselves daily but he also knew that God is greater than the human heart. This is still applicable to us today. We are imperfect and that's acceptable. It is within those imperfections that we find lessons, joy over our weaknesses and self-humbling experiences. There is much to be said about the past, however there is more to be written about the future.
We should be thankful that we are given a new chapter, to dream, make peace, strive for perfection (we do try though never obtained) start living more vigorously and diligently. To shine in the places where there is no light, to succeed when the world tells us 'no', to soar above our problems and make the past look like a dead mosquito on the wall. We are responsible for OUR own future as this coming 2014 in another year will be the new past, so make the most of it. Live like you really mean it! Actively choose to forget the past if it does not help your development. You cannot embrace the future unless you release the past. The past is significant and we may never fully erase it from memory, there might be horrible happenings in the past but there are also great memories there. Those are the memories we want to hold on to, to retell our own children, the excitement of the journey and the relief at a destination. Dreams might be illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you but don't just dream, wake up because reality is so much better if you take your dreams and breathe life into them. You will surprise yourself and even learn a thing or two.