One month in the ancient Roman calendar that had an especially descriptive name was January. The Latin word janua means a door or window from which a person may look both ways, in other words, in and out--forward and back. Historians say that January is also derived from the name Janus, a common household god among the Romans. He was often depicted facing in two directions. Basically, he was looking forward and back.
A few weeks ago I encouraged you to look back on this year so you would be better equipped to look forward. As I struggled to do that I came to realize a simple truth philosophers have struggled with over time. How is it possible to live in the past or future while I am living in the present?
Today takes most of my time, energy, creativity, and, focus, because, today I have to answer life’s essential questions regarding relationships, health, direction, and, resolution. But, there is another truth equally as obvious, I cannot relate, be healthy, find my way or resolve life’s conflicts without my storehouse of experiences nor without regard to the consequences of my decisions today on tomorrow. I feel I am playing a lifetime game of twister with one foot behind, one foot in front, and, both hands stretched to today.
I have come to the conclusion life is just that way. There is no other option. So. what to do?
Paul says it this way in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Accepting what has been done – has been done, and reaffirming what is to come is greater than I can possibly imagine, I must put all my energy in making sure that my existence today is given over to making Christ’s sacrifice and His grace the most important truth to every person with whom I have contact. Like Paul (really, even to a greater degree than Paul) I have failed in this daily effort. May God make me more like Paul who never gave up the effort.