DAY 1: A new beginning… for 2012
By Benescke Janse van Rensburg
It was late afternoon when a farmer and his wife passed a hitchhiker next to the road carrying a large backpack on his back. The farmer stopped his bakkie and offered the man a lift. He immediately accepted and got onto the back of the bakkie with a relieved smile before they left.
A few minutes later, the farmer looked into his rear-view mirror to make sure their passenger was alright. To his surprise, the man sat on the back of the bakkie, still carrying his heavy backpack on his back. The farmer stopped again and asked the man why he doesn’t take off the backpack. The passenger replied: “Sir, you already did so much to offer me a lift. I cannot expect your bakkie to carry the extra weight of my backpack too!”
What type of year was 2011 to you? Was it a year filled with highlights (an engagement, a marriage, a new baby in the family or did you perhaps win a trip overseas)? Or was it a year you would rather forget (because a loved one died, you went through a divorce, you business closed down or because you had to spend this past Christmas alone)?
We sometime become like the passenger on the back of the bakkie when we forget that Jesus died on the cross for us, to take away our baggage (the heartache, sadness, hurt and sins from the past) and to give us an abundant life (John 10:10). We can therefore take off our own baggage and trust Him for a better future ahead of us.
Listen to the what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14: “... one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
What baggage are you carrying with you today? Why not lift it from your shoulders? What is past, is past. Let us look forward with excitement to see what God is about to do in 2012. With Him, this might just be your best year so far! God bless.
Father God, thank you that You know of every heartache, disappointment and hurt from my past. I choose today to take off (name the baggage you are carrying with you) and to place it in Your hands. Help me to find my hope for this new year in You. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

** Benescke Janse van Rensburg is a freelance journalist and author of the books, Ontdek God in die stories van mense and also Wysheid, oordenkings uit Spreuke.