Janus, the ancient Roman god of all beginnings, has been symbolized as having two faces, one looking to the future and the other looking to the past. It is good for every man to look at the past, but don’t linger too long here, because if you do, the world will run over you.
There are three things I would suggest we remember as we look at the past. First, remember to thank God for his blessings. Second, remember that the defeats of yesterday were not final. When we fail to reach a goal or achieve a cherished ambition, it does not necessarily mean that our little world has collapsed. It appeared to the disciples that the work of Jesus had ended in utter defeat at Calvary. Actually, this was only a turning point in his life. This was not the end of his ministry, but only the beginning. Third, remember our sins and seek God’s forgiveness.
Then, let us turn quickly to face the future. The person who is content to talk about the victories of the past is failing to meet the demands of today. Life requires our constant attention and if we reach our destiny, it will demand our best.
Like most of you, I have made some resolutions for the New Year. A resolution is no good unless you make an effort to keep it. Actually, you would be better off not to make one unless it is designed to make you a better person.
Ours is a busy world. There are many grave problems that need a solution. We live with the harsh realities of war. Poverty still stalks the globe. Brotherhood is still a dream. Many of us are too selfish. Greed grips many hearts. Jealousy is a constant companion of many. Pride that will not permit us to say, “I was wrong, will you forgive me” continues to master many of us.
I do not know what you and I will experience during this New Year. We may spend most of the year on the mountaintop of joy. The gentle wind of plenty may blow in our faces. The bright sunshine of love may shine on us. We may walk up roads of good health and laughter.
On the other hand, we may spend most of this year in deep valleys of defeat or sorrow. We may climb the rugged slopes of disappointment and walk through the fog of suffering. We may stumble through deep chasms of temptation. I cannot predict the events of tomorrow, but I can predict, with assurance, the destiny of the man who holds the hand of God. He will be victorious.