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Leaving the Past Behind

Another year is going to oblivion. Perhaps you are reflecting on what the past year brought you. You had dreams that didn?t materialize. You stumbled in your spiritual walk. Your health might have been a bother. A loved one passed on suddenly. You were downsized by the company you had been loyal to. Your career was made obsolete by technology. Your soul mate left you. Your child started associating with the wrong crowd. Your business didn?t bring the fruits you anticipated.

Then you wonder, what does the New Year hold? How will you do things differently in order to grow spiritually, professionally and socially? How will you ease the emotional pain suffered from a broken relationship or the loss of a loved one?

Maanzoni, in literal translation, is a ?place of the past.? Kamba people of Kenya are not traditional nomads. However, after using an area for a period of time, a family moved to another area with unused resources for their livestock and family needs. The move might have been initiated by misfortunes like disease, hunger or war with a neighboring tribe. They took some material from Maanzoni with them to construct new huts and structures to protect their cattle at night. They also used the experience acquired while in Maanzaoni to survive and thrive in the new place.

The past is our social ?Maanzoni.? All our experiences, knowledge and abilities are valuable tools for the future. But, in order to survive and thrive spiritually, professionally and socially in the coming year, one must consciously leave the downfalls of the past behind.

Walking into the future with the downfalls of the past as guides is detrimental. It is like rising from your chair with the intention of going outside, but after standing up, picks up your chair and putting it in front on your path to the door. The chair becomes your obstacle and affects how and when you will reach your destination.

Time spent reminiscing on the past is time stolen from the present and the future. Time spent looking back at a closed window is time not spent looking for the gates of opportunity that might be open. Time spent observing the clouds of life is time not spent enjoying the rainbow behind the clouds and smelling the flowers that are a byproduct of the clouds. Residing in the past, instead of using it as a reference source, curtails our efforts at enriching our lives and those of our loved ones.

The Apostle Paul says, ?Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? Philippians (3:13-14). Paul emphasizes the importance of leaving our ?spiritual Maanzoni? behind and ?pressing on? toward the purpose God created us for.
The battles of the ending year might have been tough. Isaiah teaches us to re-group as we face the future. ?But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint? (Isaiah 40:31).

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