Over the years our family has established a number of traditions to accompany Christmas and New Year. One of these is the New Year ‘time travel’ letter. The idea is that each New Year we write a letter to ourselves. We open last year’s letter and reflect on the months just gone. Then we set out our hopes for the year to come. We look back at what God has done in our lives and dream a bit about what He might choose to do in the year ahead.
Over the many years that we’ve been doing this, we’ve found it amazing to see the hopes, dreams and prayers we’ve expressed answered in extraordinary ways. And we have witnessed many completely unexpected detours that God has brought about, often things that we could simply never have anticipated.
We call it a ‘time travel’ letter because the pattern of doing this every New Year seems to shrink time somehow. Practically, the beginning of a New Year is just another day in the calendar but, by doing this exercise, it has become a regular milestone to reflect, before God, on the journey of our lives, and to seek His leading in the paths lying before us. I guess this isn’t so dissimilar to what the Israelites did when they built their piles of stones as memorials for future generations to remind them of God’s interactions with them in the past and give them hope for what they could anticipate He would do for them in the future (see Joshua 4:20-24).
In one sense, New Year’s Day is simply another day that the LORD has made and given to us to rejoice and be glad in. But, in another, it’s a useful and significant milestone that we can reflect upon, and be glad for, as we journey forth through life.
Whatever the New Year has in store for you and yours, may the LORD of time lead you into it with hope, thanksgiving, and gladness. Happy New Year!
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