Greetings to you all in this new year. We look forward to the many opportunities we know will be presented to us to grow and expand, to reach higher and to realize our dreams in 2012.
Leaving the past behind us, for that is where it is, we look forward to improvements in our lives. We can bring the lessons of past years with us, as part of the guide to our future, but we are well advised to leave the disappointments, hurts and setbacks in the past where they belong. These negatives only serve to retard us, to drag us down and keep us from our destiny. On the other hand we also cannot bring the good times with us, we can bring the memories of those good times and these memories serve the purpose of inspiring us, of moving us forward, of helping us to cope with difficult situations which we will surely face.
So in this time of resolutions, we can determine to leave the negative experiences of the past behind and bring with us into our future only those things that will lift us up and move us forward.
One of the memories we can take with us into the future to inspire us as a community is the unexpected ways in which God has blessed us during this year. Although we still face a challenge with regard to our finances, God continues to surprise us with gifts. We can take this as a sign, an indication that God cares for us and provides for us, even when we are unaware of it. God still works, in an efficient economic arrangement, the vast reaches of which we can never fully understand in this dimension of life.
That is where our faith comes in. Faith in God to guide the future. Faith in God that when one channel of our good fails or is closed or cut off, that God provides another channel. Without faith we really cannot go forward, because we lack the knowledge of everything necessary to make correct decisions. So we do need God, because in God lies the divine and unlimited knowledge that is we need in order for us to reach our destiny.
I wonder how many of us think about our destiny, or how far into the future we think in terms of destiny. Is our destiny retirement from a job? Is our destiny wealth? Is our destiny creature comforts? Is our destiny health?
Or is our destiny bigger, larger, more expansive than that? I’d like to suggest that while these are worthwhile goals, our destiny should be much larger.
I’d like to suggest therefore that our destiny is heaven. Yes, heaven, which means being in the presence of God. This is the destiny for all of creation, and we can only be in the presence of God when we are reconciled with God. Some of us think that we have to die to be reconciled and be in the presence of God, But we do not have to die physically, only to put to death spiritually all those things that prevent us from reconciling with God. Some of those things were mentioned earlier — feelings of disappointment and unworthiness, jealousy and bitterness associated with negative experiences. Let us put these things to death, bury them in the past and move forward with the expectation and the hope that God will continue to provide and care for us as He has done in the past. And God will bring us to a glorious destiny.