2020 was quite a year.
The key word in that sentence: was! That means it has happened and what has happened cannot happen again (read that again as needed). There will be no repeating. Well, that’s objectively speaking. But as far as I’m concerned, and hopefully you too, nothing that happened in 2020 will meet and greet us in this new year.
You may be saying to yourself, but what about the good things that happened in 2020? As good as they were, they can’t come with you into the new year. It’s OK. Go ahead and pout for a second. Then straighten up and finish reading this article.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that old things have passed away and all things are made new. Not sure why, but I used to think old things represented “bad” things and the things being made new represented “good” things. However, old things are old things: good, bad or indifferent. Why hold onto the old things when new and better things await us?
There are a couple of underlying answers to that question, including uncertainty about what comes next and comfort with one’s current position. Yet the overarching answer is fear!
As unbefitting as some of those old things were, some people would rather remain in such a place because of fear.
Fear is restrictive and at times flat-out dangerous. It can keep you comfortable and lead you to a complacent place. Fear can cause you to be both stubborn and prideful. None of the aforementioned adjectives do anyone any good, especially you. How will you ever move into the new year with the new things if you’re holding onto that of which you are afraid? (Read that again too.) Notice I didn’t say anything about fear holding onto you. To tell what the Lord loves, which is the truth, we hold onto fear. We hold on because of the two answers I mentioned before: uncertainty and comfort. We hold onto fear because we actually don’t believe like we say we do. Jeremiah 29:11 says God’s plans are not to harm us but to prosper us, give us hope and an expected end. We hold onto fear because we actually don’t believe like we say we do. Romans 8:28 says all thing works together for our good. We hold on to fear because we actually don’t believe like we say we do. Isaiah 54:17 tells us the weapons form but they cannot prosper.
So how about this — how about we take into consideration the first two words of this ancient proverb that says “let go or be dragged.” Let go because if you’re honest, you’re tired of being dragged and holding on. Let go because there’s nothing to lose. Let go because old things have passed away and aren’t coming back anyway. Let go because you can’t receive anything good for you if your hands are full of what’s not. Let go because new things in the new year await you.
Let go, not only to stop being dragged, but so you can live fully into this new year.
Rae Karim, formerly chapel director at Christian Theological Seminary, is now pastor at First Christian Church of Honolulu. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.