‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’ Luke 9:62
Today is the last day of the year. Usually we celebrate New Year’s Eve with family and friends, we drink and we have fireworks. Many of us are inclined to look back on the events of the past year. The day can be so emotionally charged that the whole celebration can be somewhat repulsive. And despite all our good intentions, on the morning of New Year’s Day we feel empty and have a spiritual hangover. Why does this happen so often?
Jesus says that we should not look back. When someone plows, he must look straight ahead, to the farthest point, in order to make straight furrows. If he fails to do so and looks back, then his furrows will definitely go awry and he will miss the aim. So it is too in the kingdom of God. When God gives us a task, we should not look backwards all the time, remembering past things, because then we are useless.
But what about Moses? Did he not look back? He certainly did, but Moses had devoted his heart and soul to his God. If we look back with the same mindset as Moses had - to acknowledge God’s hand in everything we experienced, and to honor Him and glorify His greatness - then we may trust that this New Year’s Eve will become blessed and meaningful.
God reminded His people of the terrible time in the wilderness, but also of the salvation that He gave and of His promise that He would fight for them. In that faith we can approach the new year with courage, because He tells us: ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you, wherever you go.’