The New Year is a beautiful time; it is a time to reflect on what we have done, what has transpired around us, and to look ahead on what the coming year will bring.
For some the year has past and is full of unforgettable events: college graduation, starting a new job, maybe starting college, some of you may have welcomed a child this year, and others welcomed a spouse. For others of us had some not so great moments; loss in the family, financial struggles, loss of job, maybe even a break-up. Whether it was a good year or a tough one, the New Year is here. The New Year always allows us to look back and reflect as well as look at what is to come.
What will your New Year bring? For each of you, it will look different. Some of you will be looking forward to a life altering year, while others view it as just another year to get through. Some will dwell in the past while others strive for lies ahead. It is hard to get ahead when we spend all our time looking behind us.
The Apostle Paul had an awesome view on what lies ahead; in Philippians that he “forgets what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” He then went on to say what lies ahead in the upward call of Christ Jesus his Lord. Paul, like us has things in his past he isn’t exactly proud of. His past was filled with things good and bad; joyful and sorrowful, regrets and accomplishments. He could have dwelt upon what lied behind him but he was full of three things that pushed him forward.
Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit; as we all are who are in Christ Jesus. It was but Gods Spirit, grace, and love that Paul did what he did. All born again believers have Gods Spirit. Not all Christians possess the other two things Paul possessed; passion and purpose. Paul was crammed with passion and driven by purpose, it was these two things that made Paul who and what he was.
You can have one without the other, you can have purpose but with no passion your purpose will never be fulfilled. If you have passion with no purpose it will lead you down a dead end road, filled with pain and grief because it is taking nowhere. Without a final destination, no matter how much fuel or power you have you can never get “there”. Paul’s purpose drove him, and his passion fueled him.
Regardless of what lies behind you, your future is still to be determined. May we, like Paul strive for is ahead by living with passion to fulfill our purpose. We are all called to live for a purpose, some know what that purpose is and others are trying to figure it out. That is what the body of Christ is for; to help others along the way and to help steer people’s passion. May this year bring you to a place where we live as Jesus lived, and Paul lived – passion and purpose.