New Beginnings

By: Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee

January is the time of new beginnings. “This will be the year that I _____.” Or, “I’m breaking this bad habit when the clock strikes midnight on December 31.” For all of you who have made resolutions, I wish you well. I hope you really can stick with them and look back with satisfaction for having done so.

The old year passing and the new year coming makes people nostalgic. You hear it when someone says something like, “What I wouldn’t do to be 25 again.” Although I have passing waves of nostalgia from time to time, the truth is I wouldn’t want to turn the clock back to any of my earlier ages. As I have often said, “It’s taken all I have to get to this age. I don’t have the strength (or will) to do it all over again.” To be sure, I wish some things had gone differently, that I made smarter decisions, or wish I hadn’t squandered some opportunity. But things happened as they did, and here I am.

What we don’t know about the what ifs in our lives is if they really would have turned out for the better. They may have created their own series of happenings that led to dire circumstances. No, I committed my way to the Lord a very long time ago, admitting that the commitment has sometimes been uneven. And though I would’ve liked some things to be different, I’m quite satisfied that God redeemed much of my blundering, allowed me to feel the sting of my failures long enough to learn the lesson, steered me away from unseen dangers and kept me in Him every step of the way.

I don’t make resolutions, but I do look for God’s new beginnings when they come my way. There is more to learn, more to experience, joys not yet celebrated and sorrows that He will get me through.

If I look back at all, it is to sing the old song:

Jesus led me all the way,

led me step by step each day;

I will tell the saints and angels

as I lay my burden down,

“Jesus led me all the way.”

—John W. Peterson