So, now come the cold days of January, days which I am reluctant to face, but am resolved to get through. The teeth are already chattering, feet are frigid, and the heater is working overtime, but this month will be outlasted, one way or the other. If you follow my writing regularly, you will know that I’m no fan of the winter months, but I’m learning to endure, if not to conquer.
I was intrigued when I was informed the other day that January was named for the Roman god of doors and passages (including bridges). In their mythology, Janus is depicted as having two faces, one looking behind and the other ahead. I find it interesting to think about the concept of this, the first month of the year, being a time for us to look ahead and behind, to consider our history and our future. We do, in fact, often take time to do this at the beginning of the year and even to resolve to do better in fulfilling our goals in the coming 12 months.
Just a side note…one person noted that this two-faced Janus character was much like many politicians we know, to which I can only reply, “Yes, but they have their two faces on either side, so they can neither see where they’ve been, nor where they’re going.” Probably, the same could be said of all who live their lives in hypocrisy, never quite sure if their next lie will be the one that exposes who they really are deep down.
In a way, this blog has provided a means for me to do what this mythological being does…look to the future without losing sight of the past. I’ve enjoyed (and mean to continue) dredging up events that I’ve muddled through, but I never want them to overshadow the reality of what is ahead. Memories are great, but aspirations are better. If the past does not help us to be better people as we move forward, perhaps it would be better if we could let it go. My hope for myself (and all reading this) in the coming days, weeks, and months is that we can become more of what God wants for us, moving with eyes wide open into the future, while applying the lessons gleaned from the past.
It is possible that, as one would-be comic put it, the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn anything from history. If that’s true, I’ve embarrassed myself again and again for nothing. Whichever it is, stay tuned for more awkward moments in future missives! Of course, that assumes that the cold days of January don’t freeze anything too important to the process…Pray that the heater keeps working.
“History doesn’t repeat itself. At best it sometimes rhymes.”