The quintessential gift that every year presents is found in one word: reflection. Not just an opportunity to seriously consider what has become, but also an opportunity to face the image that every mirror reveals. The book of James, chapter 1:22-25, reminds us of a mirror and how we forget what we look like or who we are.
This year, in the mirror, we face the reality of our own failures, longing to forget they exist. We consider the relationships built and lost and, in an effort to subdue the pain, we walk away from the mirror in shame and sorrow. We consider how we wrestled to be better and lost more than we won. The result: our mirror is cracked and broken; we don’t recognize ourselves.
We consider how people have heaped negativity on our shoulders and saturated our souls with hatred, much of which we digested as truth. We look in the mirror, and in our mind, our lives echo the sentiment of James, “like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
However, before the New Year comes, we must remember that God has the opportunity to look into that same mirror. Psalm 139 declares, “You have searched me, Lord, ?and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; ?You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; ?You are familiar with all my ways.”
Nothing we see in the mirror is new or hidden to the Lord. There is no reflection in life’s revealing mirror that God does not know. There is no reflection that God has not already deemed qualified for redemption.
At the beginning of time, God, in omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, gazed into the mirror of eternity. In that mirror, the uncreated Creator was moved to speak into the devoid, destitute, deprived depth of darkness delineating destiny for you and I.
In that mirror, the Master, with unconditionally focused vision, saw reasons worthy of salvation. In that mirror, the breath of life saw vessels worth of encapsulating and incubating the majesty of His glory; tangible manifestation of His grace and mercy. In that mirror, our worthless flesh could not deny His unfailing love.
In that mirror, the imperfect reaped the benefit of perfection. God saw God, created God-people; and committed to eternal responsibility.
So, before we hang our heads in shame, before we carry useless baggage into 2015, be reminded that God saw you in 2014 and STILL gave you every day without compromise. God is not surprised or behind schedule. We are precious in God’s sight. We are too valuable to lay purposeless, work-less, hopeless, helpless and defeated. We are never beyond the reach of God’s hand. 2014 was the perfect year.
2015 will be the next perfect year. I declare, for anyone reading this, that 2015 is the next best year of your life. 2014 was the test. 2015 is your best!
God deserves your best! Every moment deserves your best! You honor the gift of life the most when you are your best self. In 2015, settle for nothing less.
The Rev. Charles Dorsey is the Youth & Young Adult Pastor at Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church in Irvine led by Senior Pastor Mark Whitlock, Jr.