And so it Ends…
Ecclesiastes 7:8 reminds us that “the end of a thing is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” As we wrap up 2017, this verse sounds very different than the usual hype surrounding the New Year, which is why I’m thinking about it. In fact, for over a week now I have been bombarded with sentimental quips about resolutions and new beginnings and I was reminded of an old Counting Crows song from the 90’s (only some of you parents will remember this one) called A Long December, in which the lyricist writes “A long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.” Those words, unlike the words of Ecclesiastes, echo much of the world’s sentiment regarding the dawn of a new year and are filled with a familiar hope for something better.
Although there is nothing wrong with looking forward to the new year and even longing for a better time and place, as we are instructed to do in Scripture, the writer of Ecclesiastes is perhaps reminding us that a healthy look back is almost always a clearer view, and the patient endurance we have learned over the last year is better than the pride with which we may have unknowingly begun it. In addition, as we look back and view the year in completion, hopefully we are able to see and remember God’s faithfulness, His day to day provision, His gentle hand of correction, His tender mercies new every morning, His guiding providence and sure sovereignty over the course of our lives and the history of the world.
Every ending should ultimately remind us that God is still in control and that the One Who has been faithful will be faithful again. I don’t know how 2017 was for you or your family. Perhaps it was full of joy and prosperity. Perhaps it was full of sorrow and difficulty. Either way, the year has been laid to rest and a new year has begun. For over 37 years, God has watched over Gramercy Christian school and over my own life for almost 48 years now! Unlike the Counting Crows song of my youth, I have come to understand, through both joy and sorrow, prosperity and difficulty, that my hope is built on nothing less than the firm, unshakable reality of Redemption. Whether it is 2017, 2018, or 2038, God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore, and I therefore rejoice.
See you tomorrow GCS family and Happy New Year!