ANNUS horribilis: the horrible year. That was 2016 apparently, given the amount of celebrities who died. Queen Elizabeth II hailed 1992 as annus horribilis .
2016 was personally my most difficult year yet (eclipsing even 2003, and earlier 1984), and, I think because of my recent experience, I'm sensitive to those who have had a lamentable 2017. I've heard a few people say their 2017 has been an annus horribilis .
How has 2017 treated you?
Perhaps it was a year where great change was thrust upon you, where one massive life change brought with it a ripple of uncertainty. Maybe the year consolidated the perception within you of disappointment and heartache. Possibly the year was great; hopes were exceeded, and a breakthrough moment came to define your life. Perhaps there wasn't anything to write home about – though I doubt it.
Years are a neat way of categorising our time on earth. Life is short, yet the years are long, which is a paradox that the mysteries of life never quite explain.
If 2017 was an especially tough year, what did you learn, and what are you going to do about it in 2018? Could it be that notwithstanding how tough the year been, God has equipped you with confidence because He has shown you your endurance?
Will next year bear any fruit from what was sown this year? I know my 2017 did not realise some of the hopes I had even for 2016, yet I know unequivocally that I'm on a good path. I'm yet reminded of those heroes of the faith in Hebrews chapter 11 who, though they were faithful, died before the Promise was realized in their lives (verse 13).
Now is the time to take a moment to reflect over poignant questions. Now is the time to make peace with the past so we may look forward with hope for a joyous present and future.