I find it interesting to observe our dog, Jack, on his daily explorations. He runs ahead, whether in the woods, open fields, or along the beach. He sniffs here and there and lopes on in great happiness. He regularly glances back to see where I might be. If I have turned to go in another direction, he quickly runs over, then rushes ahead to continue his sniffing and running activity, but always looking back at me.
It occurred to me that I can take Jack’s example into the New Year. I quit making a New Year’s resolution years ago, mainly because after a week or two, not only was I not keeping it, but most of the time I had even forgotten what it was that I had set as my goal. Learning from Jack sets a worthy objective indeed.
This year, as I determine to go forward in the things God has set for me, I want to look back, also. When I get discouraged, I want to look back and remember His past comfort to me. When I become fearful of what tomorrow may bring, I want to look back and remember all the times I knew my Father was there, giving me His own courage. When I grow weary with the pursuit, I want to look back at God’s promises, which never fail, and gain strength from His Word which stands the test of time. When I am misunderstood, I want to look back and identify with Jesus, because He was also misinterpreted. When I forge ahead in my aspirations, I want to look back to see if God is turning in a different direction, at which time I will also turn to follow Him. When I feel alone and vulnerable, I want to look back and be reminded that the One I love and serve never leaves nor forsakes me.
I want to be as faithful to my Heavenly Father and His plans, as Jack is to me, and when I make a mistake, I want to run to my Father, accepting His forgiveness and loving encouragement, just as Jack does to me. Yes, this New Year, I want to take Jack’s example. I want to look back, gain my Father’s strength and encouragement, and then I will, “Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:14)
Happy New Year, everyone! May your own pursuits be blessed with those moments of looking back as you move forward.