Set up road markers for yourself; establish signposts! Keep the highway in mind, the way you have traveled. Return, Virgin Israel! Return to these cities of yours. How long will you turn here and there, faithless daughter? For the Lord creates something new in the land — a female will shelter a man.Jeremiah 31:21-22 CSB
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day has always been filled with excitement for me. It’s something about wiping the slate clean on a brand new year that sparks my creativity and fills my mind with tons of ideas for New Year’s resolutions to implement. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the ending of the current year needs acknowledgement too. If we don’t stop and reflect on lessons learned and battles won, we run the risk of fighting those very same battles all over again.
Jeremiah 31 teaches that we must build road markers. Not to dwell in our past, but to remind us how far we’ve traveled; every victory God has brought us through. We build to remind ourselves that God is faithful. We build to strengthen our own faith. We build to remind ourselves of the lessons that made us wiser. We build to ensure we don’t repeat our mistakes.
As Christians, we strive forward. As Paul would say, we forget those things behind us and press forward (Philippians 3:13-14). This doesn’t mean that we erase it from our minds, but we no longer allow it to influence our way of living. We don’t allow the road markers to become big monuments by sitting in those moments in time too long.
When we acknowledge the end of the year, we look around and make note of the road travelled. We use our memories and experiences as road markers. Our goal is not to get stuck there, but to learn whatever lessons God intended. If we fail to acknowledge our endings, we risk not finishing the race God has called us to run.
As we prepare for the coming year, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the ending of the current year. Reflect on the battles won while looking forward to all that God has called you to…