The Gregorian calendar was arranged in reference to the ancient Roman calendar. Each month had a meaning.
February was named because that was the time for a feast called “Februa” that usually culminates on the 15th.
Most of the months were named after the gods that the ancient Romans worshiped. March was named after “Mars,” the god of war. April, after “Venus,” the goddess of love, “Aphrodite” in Greek. May, after the goddess “Maia.” June, after the goddess “Juno,” the wife of Jupiter.
July and August were named after Gaius Julius Caesar and his successor, a distant nephew and adopted son, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus. September, October, November, and December were named for the numbers seven, eight, nine and 10 in Latin. The ancient Roman calendar fell in that order.
But January, in the ancient Roman calendar, had an especially descriptive name. It is derived from the Latin word “janua,” meaning a door, gate or pathway. Historians say that January is also derived from the name of the god “Janus,” the Roman household god of doors and beginnings. He was a god that had two faces, facing in two directions.
Basically, he was looking forward and backward. As we stand at the doorway in the month of January, we usually look back from where we have come. And we look ahead to the days of the new year where we are heading.
As we move into this year, we look at the days that have passed and the days ahead.
A staunch reality is that we are facing the same failures dealing with the same flaws and have the same frailties, this year as we had last year.
I would ask that you look back and appreciate what God has brought you through and look ahead and anticipate what God is going to do! In a very real sense life often is bittersweet. It is the best and worst of times. You feel both pain and pleasure, good and bad times. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” Isaiah 43:18-19 (English Standard Version).
The first step to embracing the new thing that God wants to do in your life is to change your focus, quit looking behind, start looking ahead.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Now is the perfect time to move forward. You cannot get to your destination looking in the rear-view mirror.
The second step to embracing the new thing that God wants to do in your life is to clarify your focus, discover what God wants for you.
What do you see when you view your life? Do you see possibilities or problems? The will of God will always find you. You just have to perceive it. Wherever you are today, meditate on this.