Another trip around the sun. Whirling world-traveling wild year complete, I can only be anxious about the next. What is in store for me on my 28th orbit?
Where will I go?
How many more passport stamps and customs agents are in my future?
How many more handshakes and new friends?
My life still seems like it's ahead of me, but the more I think about where it's taken me, it seems I have a lot more behind me than I realize. Windshields are bigger than rear-view mirrors, as the old cliché says, but it's hard not to reflect on a year as crazy as mine has been.
The cool thing about being born in December is that my new year coincides closely with the calendar's. That makes reflection more logical. Without reflection on the past year, I would often lose sight of where I am headed and how I plan to get there. More importantly, I'll begin to think disease-ridden thoughts, like the one that tells me my plans or ideas have anything to do with what is going to happen. That thought is so pervasive I have to constantly spin away from it into the open arms of an unknown, cloudy reality.
Last year on my birthday I thought I'd never get a job and I'd be living with my mom in Dallas forever. Now I have a job, and an apartment, and mom doesn't even live in Dallas anymore. I've been on the other side of the world for extended periods of time since then. I've been to New Orleans and New York on disaster relief trips for my job since then.
The future is a pretty girl with an aloof personality. You want to get to know her quickly, but she won't let you. You think you've got her figured out, and then she turns into a crazy person. You think she's going to settle down, then you find yourself looking into her eyes while driving into an evacuated disaster zone or watching rebels set fire to a car in protest.
It's the aloof girls that are the most interesting, and it's the future we focus on because the past is too known, too familiar, and too over. She's unknowable, exciting, and probably dangerous. Eventually she'll kill me. But every year I'll run at her full-speed with my eyes closed and hope for the best. If you think God doesn't love that about me, your god is too small. Don't box God in and allow him to show you what He can do with a wholehearted life.
The past can be an anchor, or it can be a set of wings. With proper reflection and meditation on your story, God will show you how to fly into the future--the dangerous, exciting, and unknowable future.