Josh Wilson – Glendale Student Pastor
It’s hard to believe that New Years is tomorrow and another year has gone by. The older I get the faster life seems to pass my by, and I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way as I do. I love New Years because it’s a chance to look back on all the great things that have happened in the last year, but if I’m honest it’s also difficult to look back at the things I wish I would have done but didn’t.
We could all make a list of regrets we have: not exercising more, not eating better, not spending extra time with the family, not getting around to the project on the side of the house, and the list goes on. Every year I can think of 10 things that I wish I could go back and change but unfortunately life just doesn’t work like that. We can’t go back, but the one thing we can do is move forward.
This idea came to life for me a few weeks ago when I was given a writing assignment on what I wanted my obituary to say after I die. The idea was simple, if you died of old age, what do you want people to say you accomplished, what they thought about you, and what you were known for. I had to write a lot of detail, including what my future children would say about me. I finished the assignment, pouring my heart into what I dream of people remembering me by. As I completed my final edit, God touched my heart in a way that felt like being hit by a ton of bricks. I want so badly to be known for being a Godly pastor, husband, dad, and man. I want to be known as someone who forsakes everything to sacrifice for God, someone who gives all their resources to those in need, someone who will show up late because he was helping a person with car problems, someone who sits down and reads the Bible with his children every night, someone who truly shows what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I have all of these great things that I want to be known by, but the question God placed on my heart was: what are you doing today to make those dreams come true?
In my life, today, am I sacrificing for my family, working my hardest at my job, helping anyone who is in need, reading my Bible every single night even when life gets busy, and am I showing non-believers, in all settings of life, that I am completely and totally sold out for Christ? The honest answer is unfortunately no.
As I processed all of this things, feeling so down and like I wasted my last year, God reminded me of the forgiveness he gives in Jesus. I thought of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
This verse rings true in our original conversion through Jesus, but is also a testament to our every day surrender to Christ. Every day we must remember that we are not held down by our old selves, or past mistakes, but that we are made new so that we can fully follow him.
So this New Years, what I’m doing and my encouragement to you, is to not regret the past but instead strive forward to change your future; to set realistic goals that push us to getting to where we want to be. Because at the end of the day, the only thing keeping us from where we want to be tomorrow, is what changes we are going to make today.