Here we go again! Moving through Christmas and into a new year! Different numbers to get used to typing or writing! Resolutions to make… or not! More parties to attend, special meals to make, football games to watch, traditions to observe! Turning the calendar page: a transition most of us make seamlessly and some of us resist. Another year behind us with its successor stretching out ahead…
Not a one of us knows what awaits us in 2020. We probably have plans and we certainly have hopes. Yet we can neither anticipate everything nor control much of anything as we tumble into another January. Sometimes we grow anxious about the unknown; often we are outright fearful. Especially as the years pile up behind us, the concerns about the future ahead of us mount up all the more. Last Sunday in worship I referred to a piece by Benedictine sister Joan Chittister included in the book Uncommon Gratitude; Alleluia for All That Is. Here is a fuller snippet of her wisdom to accompany you into the new year:
Clearly, future is many things at once. It is the vessel into which we pour all our hopes and all our fears. It is at the edge of the future that we walk off the side of a cliff into the arms of God.
The spiritual challenge of the future resides in being able to accept it before we know it.
But accepting the future before we know what it is becomes one of the central problems of life. Rather than embrace the unknown, we stumble along from one fear to another. We cling and claw our way from day to day, trying to preserve this, to avoid that, intent on our need to control tomorrow and awash in our uncertainties along the way. Then we begin to see what the future really demands of us. We come to realize that it is not the particulars, the details of time and place and position to which the future finally takes us that really matter much. No, it isn’t so much what happens to us in the future that counts. It is the attitudes we take to it that make all the difference between a future that’s full and a future that’s frustrating.”
With trust in the Emmanuel (“with-us God”) who has come among us and lives within us in Jesus Christ, may we find ourselves embracing the fullness of a future held in God’s unfailing love!