Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
As we approach the end of another year it is good to review the events that affected us for the better or worse. Seeing the activities we engaged in can help us plan our future.
Sadly for some people reviewing the past becomes a morbid and unproductive time. Regrets and grief swallow up any strength to make something of the future. Looking back should be a time of positive planning for the days ahead.
No one has yet been able to change the past and too few people make serious plans for the future. This is a sad state of affairs because the lessons from the past can help us shape a better future for ourselves.
Scripture encourages us to look back as we plan for the future. This is certainly wise counsel. You cannot go back and start again, but you can begin now to make a new ending.
This is what New Year resolutions are all about. We look at the New Year and decide what we wish to change most. If we approach this exercise with prayer and an open Bible, we will be guided by the Lord in making excellent plans going forward.
As we are in the countdown to the beginning of a year, we really do need to review the past year to see where and why we missed the mark in this area or that. Then we look for guidance from the Lord as to how we can prosper in those areas in the future. We also need to be open to withdrawing from certain activities if the Lord makes that alternative clear.
Our verse speaks of wisdom, and that is the ability to make the best choices in life. Wisdom is not knowledge. Knowledge is an accumulation of facts. Knowledgeable people may act like fools because they do not have discernment or wisdom about making good choices.
We are called on in Scripture to live life looking forward—and with memories of lessons from the past close to hand—so we may be able to make wise choices. We should learn from the past but not live in it.
Pray today’s verse to the Lord, and ask for wisdom to make good choices. Put your hand in the Lord’s and step into the New Year with confidence that you will be guided by your Creator. This is the best way to live.