Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 28, 2013

Think about what comes next in life

By Michael C. Carson
Local columnist

---- — God is progressive.

Within the stages of life advancement, this is the major theme. No one can completely stay at the same place in life, doing the same things forever. I am sure that many of the life experiences you had in 2013 were simply awesome! Each and every event in your life, positive or negative, has been a “building block” in route to who you are right now.

The “Gospel According to Quincy Jones” shares a foundation of progression.

It says, “Everything must change. Nothin' stays the same. Everyone will change. No one stays the same. The young become the old. And mysteries do unfold. 'Cause that's the way of time. Nothin' and no one goes unchanged.”

Whatever we achieved in days gone by was for “one shining moment” a major accomplishment. An accomplishment is always to be remembered, celebrated and used as a “guide” for the future. Still, after a victory we must eventually ask one question. What comes next?

In our quest toward “becoming,” we must remain humble. Never become too “caught up in your own press.” Yes, appreciate your victories and successes but remember that the wins of yesterday are great for the record book, but there is a new contest facing you today.

Now as you press towards your next assignment in life, heal from your wounds (pain) of the past. Learn from what was painful for you and then move on toward a much brighter “next” in your life.

In your journey, always remember to embrace forgiveness. Yes, God please “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (St. Matthew 6:12)

But let us also forgive ourselves. God forgives us. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18-19)

It’s not that we are unclear about forgiving others. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1 John 4:20-21)

But the real challenge could be that we forgive (love) ourselves. Since we are to: “love our neighbor as ourselves” (St. Matthew 22:39) How can we effectively forgive (love) others if we cannot forgive (love) ourselves?

Well much more could be suggested concerning our journey toward the next situations in our lives. Let me conclude with this question. What will you be doing New Year’s Eve? I suggest that you look back over your life and thank God for bringing you to a new year. Pray God’s favor as you march forward in 2014!

“Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

Peace with justice. be blessed real good, attend worship, families matter, and Happy New Year.