The Past is a Present

Staring into the future and wondering what might be is all too real at this time of the year when we get ready to bid adieu to some memories while waiting in anticipation for some new ones. The providence of prayer and the benefits of blessings are counted while the doubts of despair are pondered as we look at our past for answers. Looming just a few hours away is the reality of another grouping of days on a calendar that will be marked with affirmations and good wishes for prosperity and peace. Yesterday becomes proverbial history and tomorrow remains the eternal mystery, while the present is the only thing we can claim as reality. I decided this year to look at the gifts of my immediate past that have brought me to this moment.
A gift of ministry and evangelism saw me at the helm of an organization dedicated to taking time-honored principles of leadership to third world pastors. For this I am grateful. Vistas of grandeur and majesty came into plain sight in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, and touring the haunting castle of Dracula in Transylvania was not even on the list of goals. For this I am pleased. A dinner cruise on the Bosporus where old and new occupy opposite banks on two continents was my seat of honor while training in Istanbul, Turkey. For this I am humbled. Added to this travelogue were repeated visits to England, the Philippines, Hong Kong and, of course, India. For this I am overwhelmed. Capping off this itinerant lifestyle was the privilege of preaching in a small, rustic church an hour outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For this I feel blessed. Everywhere the people had the same expectancy as did the crowds at all the events in the United States. The quizzical expressions and verbal queries all had the same demeanor as the search the world over remains for elusive hope. I believe that there is more hope in looking at the blessings already received before counting the ones yet to manifest.
As you ring in your own new expectations while standing in your own present, look over your shoulder at your immediate past and document your victories. Then isolate the pitfalls and gaps that impeded progress. Work harder to look at the gift of your past and your present will be more meaningful and your future more reachable. Change is in the air and all signs will point to some distant plateau that all hope to reach. But a change of heart that is built on the foundation of gratitude for the life already lived and the road already traveled will make the destination clearer. May God bless you in your new beginnings with old visions of future grandeur.

Wishing You a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year

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