Reflections On The Coming Of A New Year

Today is New Year's Eve, and as I woke up this morning I couldn't help but reflect on how excited I was on this day last year.  

After the dumpster fire of a year that we'd all experienced, I was ready to celebrate and move forward. All I wanted was to put 2020 in the rearview mirror.  I know I was not alone in this---pretty much the entire population of Everywhere was on the same page. 

And, like many of you, I rang in 2021 with friends and family with no small measure of joy and expectation.  

It's safe to say that 2021 didn't fail to disappoint.  It didn't come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.  It came in like the Tasmanian Devil on the Looney Tunes cartoons and appears to be going out much the same way, leaving a path of busted-up stuff in its wake. 

Listen, it's understandable if you are considering some moderation when it comes to your hopes and dreams for the coming new year.  I completely get it. 

So this year, if you are tempted to bag up all of your joy and expectation and replace it with skepticism and caution...  If you are toying with the idea of lowering your aspirations and hopes for 2022, aiming instead for something realistic... 

Don't.  Just don't do it.  Let yourself feel the joy and excitement that comes from new beginnings and new possibilities.  Let yourself feel the thrill that comes from dreaming big dreams and experiencing defiant hope.  

You have no idea what is going to happen in the new year, and it's a good thing you don't.  There will be challenges that you will want to avoid, and there will probably be unexpected hardship that you never saw coming. 

But you will also have the opportunity to triumph, overcome, start fresh, find love, laugh out loud, sing at the top of your lungs, and here's the most important thing... to wake up every single day knowing that God has got this... whatever "this" happens to be.

I recently read this amazing poem from the 13th century poet Rumi that speaks right into this very thing: 

sell your cleverness and 
buy bewilderment 
cleverness is skepticism
bewilderment is vision. 

The moment we can get to a place where we are able to stop trying to figure everything out, plan our lives down to the minute, and control all of our outcomes, is the moment we start living our truest and best lives. 

And it's also the moment when we can begin a brand new year with a determined smile, and a heart filled with love, joy, and the kind of peace that can only come from God.  

I also believe that in that moment we'll suddenly be granted the kind of vision that we need to navigate an uncertain world with confidence, courage and unyielding faith.  

May it be so for you in this coming year.  May God grant you vision even as you embrace your bewilderment.  And may that vision be of a world made right, and you along with it.  

Happy New Year! And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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