Looking over a precipice, especially at sunset (or sunrise if we're an early riser), elicits a grand sensation of awe. Awe for the view, no doubt, but also an inner awe that a new day will dawn full of new opportunities, challenges, hopes, and beginnings. The past is behind us, whether good or bad, and we begin anew. We can learn from our past, be thankful for the memories and the lessons, but we can't stay there. We must go forward with courage and hope - every day.
This excerpt from "On the Pulse of Morning" by Maya Angelou says it so poetically:
"The Rock cries out to us today, you may stand upon me, But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world, A River sings a beautiful song. It says, Come, rest here by my side.
. . .
Lift up your eyes upon This day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream.
. . .
Lift up your hearts Each new hour holds new chances For a new beginning. Do not be wedded forever To fear, yoked eternally To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change."
I am also reminded of one of my favorite verses from the Bible. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing 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." (Is. 43: 19,20)
I take this in two ways. 1) If we dwell too much on all the good things from our past, we'll miss the new good things. 2) If we dwell too much on the hard things we've been through, we'll miss the good new things.
There are good things in our future. Sure, there are always hard things that we'll go through, but if we face each day with faith that brings gratefulness, we will see the good.
I was inspired by the entry for Jan. 1 in a devotional that we bought to read through this year by Dennis Kinlaw. He says, "The new year brings hope. As we look into the year that opens before us, we would like to think that it could be better than the one behind us. That yearning for something better is a gift from God and a promise that the hope can be realized. God wants the year before you to be the best that you have ever had. The key lies in where you look for fulfillment. It must not be within yourself, for your resources have not suddenly increased. You need resources that are fresh and new and can enable you to claim a measure of effectiveness and fulfillment that you have not yet known."
I'm excited to see what that will mean for me. How might I grow and be more effective in this year? I hope this also inspires and encourages you. If you're reading this, I consider you my friend and I'd be happy to chat if you feel like you'd like to understand this encouragement better. Please feel free to reach out!
P.S. I had planned to write about my painting, Oh, the Splendor, featured above but that would be a whole different subject. I'm going to leave this for now as my New Year's message to you. I'll write about this painting of Coopers Rock Overlook another time. It does have a pretty fun story and would take too much space for now.
Blessings in this new year to you, my friends! I'd love to hear from you - even just a quick note.