Looking ahead

Dec 31, 2018 7:00:00 AM / by Reverend Tonya N. Lawrence, Ph.D.

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The concept of “looking ahead” is commonly known and frequently considered during this season.

The ending of one calendar year on the 31st day of the 12th month and the beginning of another on the first day of the first month of a new year mark a ringing out of the old and a ringing in of the new.

Yes, every year, many of us anticipate and even welcome the opportunity to push reset.

Then it happens

In a matter of seconds, we are thrust into a new year with hopes that everything will be different. But, then what?

As a child, I was told that it was bad luck to look ahead at a calendar for the new year before that year actually began.

There was no explanation offered as to why I should not do such a thing. It was just a known fact that peering ahead was not the thing to do because it would bring negativity into new possibilities. Even if I received a calendar that seemed to be a cool gift, I had to wait until the new year to see exactly how cool or uncool it was.

Not until I was older did I begin to question the concept and to wonder from where this thinking came.

Could 12 or so pages of squares and numbers determine my fate?

Could “luck” – good or bad – determine the course of all that lay ahead of me?

How could I be so gullible if I believed in God who is always in control?

Now, I know that looking ahead is a concept that involves not only a direction, but also action. In Philippians, Paul encourages the believers to remain focused by keeping their eyes and looking ahead because God has great things in store for us.

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Looking ahead is about seeking and discerning what God would like for us to move towards, what things that God would like for us to continue and also what things God would like for us to change.

Looking ahead is not about the squares and numbers on the calendar that indicate the passing of time.

Looking ahead is about trusting in the one who promises to faithfully be present and to maintain control in the midst of all things regardless of what the day or month brings and trusting in God who make all things possible.

Topics: General Ministry

Reverend Tonya N. Lawrence, Ph.D.

Written by Reverend Tonya N. Lawrence, Ph.D.

Tonya earned dual master's degrees in divinity and youth ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary, and has a doctorate in educational ministry. She is passionate about youth development, is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and has faithfully served as preacher, teacher, and leader. She is currently appointed as associate director for discipleship and vitality for the North Georgia Annual Conference and serves on the Board of Directors for the North Georgia Camping and Retreat Ministries. Tonya is an avid swimmer and also enjoys reading and daydreaming.

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