But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. – Philippians 3:13b
When I was a real estate agent, my manager had a white board mounted in the office area that had been made up so as to allow the agents in his office to post the listings and sales (with their respective dollar amounts) they might have obtained for the month. The agent with top dollar value (of listings and/or sales) would become the "sales agent of the month." But then, come the end of the month, the white board would be erased. Every month was a new month and whether the former month had been a great success or dismal failure, it did not matter. It was now a new month and we all got to (or had to) start over again.
The Christian life offers, of course, this same kind of new start. The former things of our lives – including our many past sins – we can, in a sense, mark off as simply reflective of our old selves. But once we came to Christ we started in on a new life. The old sins may have had many long-term consequences that we will never outlive, but still the new life became for us an opportunity to start over.
To a far lesser degree, but still in this same vein, I have looked at the beginning of each New Year as an opportunity to start over. People with no interest in Christianity view life this way as is evidenced by the tremendous surge that takes place at local gyms come January. This surge generally comes to a fairly quick end as those with the best of intentions give in to what is easier (i.e., to do nothing instead). In the Christian life, the challenge to read through the Bible in one year can easily suffer this same fate. For once one falls behind it becomes difficult to catch up and stay up.
But the New Year, I think, can and should become this kind of marker. Forget the past. Forget both the failures AND the successes of the past. And now, with this New Year, START OVER! Be it spiritually, physically, financially, it doesn't matter. Start over with the attitude expressed by the apostle Paul of NOT LOOKING BACK but instead STRAINING FORWARD to what lies ahead.
So wipe the board clean and start again. And may 2020 become a truly great year for you in Christ!