If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:18 ESV
Time is a funny thing. Its intangible properties are held by no man. Time simply marches on, whether we like it or not. Hours are swallowed into days and before we know it, it is a new year. So, what of this new year? Will it be all we want it to be? Who knows? Enter the mystery of the unexpected event, the thing we never saw coming. There is so much of life that we cannot control and therefore those things must be left to the providence of God. But there are some things we can control, which will determine what kind of year this shall be, and that is what I want you to consider. A few weeks ago, I wrote a parable about a pigeon named Joseph, who destroyed a community of pigeons with his fowl behavior.
Here is an exempt… With great opinions and with grand ideas, Joseph decided to establish a new community on a frozen pond to the north of the village where the three streams came together. All seemed well in this tiny village on the frozen pond until the mud from the swamp called Marah began to burn into the icy surface. Joseph and his friends ignored the mess that the mud was making, choosing instead to believe that in time all would be washed away. But then one day as Joseph was making a great speech, the ice below his feet cracked and the entire community of pigeons sank into the frozen pond never to be heard of again.
This is the interpretation of the parable. Joseph left the community at the three streams with anger and bitterness. He attempted to start something new while still harboring animosity toward his former community. His ‘something new’ was doomed to fail. No matter how much he smiled his beaky smile and pushed on, his bad spirit was sure to ruin everything he touched.
If we start something new in 2020 with anger and bitterness toward our fellow man, our new endeavors will fail in time. A new marriage, a new job, and especially a new church will fold like a deck of stacked cards under the weight of the anger burning in our souls. So, what is the remedy? Go back to the place of hurt and forgive or ask for forgiveness. Reconcile if possible. As much as is possible in you, be at peace with all men. God will not bless a new path otherwise.
I love telling stories, so I tend to look at life like chapters in a book. The turning of a page is not defined by a calendar date. New chapters are marked by the events of our lives that alter us. If the new chapter you are attempting to write is marred by the ugliness of the last, then it will not end well. Turn the pages back and make things right before going forward. There is a name for stories that follow the path of bitterness to the end. They are called tragedies.