Looking back and looking ahead

Looking back and looking ahead

In the 2013 movie “About Time,” the film’s lead, Tim, learns that all of the men in his family have had the ability to travel through time. He uses this ability to serve several purposes including an attempt to get a girlfriend. Tim learns various lessons about how to best use his ability, lessons about life, and lessons about happiness.

Tim eventually takes his father’s advise for the “key to happiness” — live each day just like anyone else, but go back a second time and notice all of the good things that filled his day.

In the end, however, Tim shares a lesson his dad had not learned — he went one step further than his dad. He says, “the truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day. I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”

We are all particularly reflective this time of year. As midnight of January 1 approaches, we evaluate our year and look to what we hope the next year might hold for us. We don’t have the gift of time travel to change our day-to-day circumstances, or even have a second chance at noticing the joys and gifts of each day we are otherwise too distracted to notice. We can’t know what the next 365 days will hold for us, but we can try to live intentionally with each new day.

So my prayer for myself (and for us all) this year is that I may be more intentional with all the gifts God has given me, with each day, and with each moment. The year may not play out like I hope it will, but I pray that I will be intentional in noticing the numerous ways God answers prayers and shows his faithfulness in all things.