An Epic New Year

In ancient Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates and doors. He held the key, so to speak, to the metaphorical doors or gateways between what was and what is to come. He had two faces enabling him to look forward and backward. His job was to keep evil spirits out of homes, buildings, shrines, schools, courtyards, and wherever there was a doorway or gate. His role changed and was applied to the new year when he could look back on the old year and forward to the new. His name came to be applied to the first month of the new year, January.  The Roman people took a minute each day to pray to Janus.

Such gods were mythological, fanciful. However, there really is a God who looks back and forward. He is omnipresent, all present. Companion parts of His nature are He is omniscient, all knowing, and omnipotent, all powerful.

The Apostle Paul adopted some of His characteristics and said, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead….” (Philippians 3: 13) In summary, don’t live in the past. The past is now merely a prologue of things to come. Those who live in the past forfeit the best of the present and rob their future potential. Consider this scenario.

In the past (point “A”) you made a decision. Now (point “B”) looking back you see it was not a good decision. The result is a sense of failure and associated guilt. Never judge your point B decision from point A. At point B you made a decision based on two things: the knowledge you had at the time and the love you sought to employ. Now at point A you have more knowledge and greater love than you did not have at point B. The result is you unfairly judge your past self and pull the grief caused by your point B decision into point A. Romans prayed to Janus.

In December 1939, King George VI was England’s reigning monarch.  Storm clouds of war were gathering. As was the custom, the king addressed the nation on a BBC radio broadcast on Christmas Day, and, in the uncertain last days of 1939, the king spoke words of peace to calm his nation. He reminded them of the only true King, the One who can provide true peace and real rest in such troubled times.  As King George concluded his message of encouragement, he read the preamble of a poem that had been brought to his attention by his young daughter, Princess Elizabeth.

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’

And he replied: ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’”

Try it, you will find it to be true, making for a HAPPY NEW YEAR.