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Yesterday River  

Ever hear of a town named Goofy Ridge?

I didn't think so.  However, Goofy Ridge is a real place, near the center of Illinois. And that's not the only oddball city name in the Land of Lincoln.  There's Bonegap (southeastern Illinois) and Oblong, also southeast.   Head far south, and you'll arrive at a town named Muddy. But if you’re hungry, by all means, stop at Sandwich in DeKalb county.   Careful—or you might lose yourself in Lost Nation (Ogle County).  But you’re always welcome in Hometown (on the southeast border of Chicago).  Who knew city names could be so entertaining?

On a recent flight over Canada, I stared at the map detailing our path and was intrigued by a landmark identified as Yesterday River. It begins at —wait for it—Yesterday Lake, northeast of Cochrane, Ontario.

You have to wonder why they named it, "Yesterday River."  Did someone fall in love there?  Or lose a loved one there?  What memories lie buried in the banks of Yesterday River?

Bet you’ve met some people whose thoughts and conversations are so focused on the past, you wonder if they live in Yesterday River.  For them, everything that was ever good happened in the past. Nothing of the future intrigues or inspires—let alone—interests them.

If you’re a follower of Christ, it’s okay to visit Yesterday River, but it's not okay to live there.   When Jesus returned to heaven, his last words to the disciples were not, "Go and reminisce."  He said, "Go and make disciples!"  

In Isaiah 43:19, God says, "See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

It’s a new year.  A new slate.  A new set of possibilities. Maybe resolution #1 for you and me this year is to spend less time at Yesterday River, and more time looking for the new thing God is doing even now.  Happy New Year!


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016