There is much that is new today, in my life and yours; so much so, that it has given me reason to pause and ponder. Whenever we enter a new year we are embarking on an unexperienced adventure. No one has walked through this year before, so no one is able to tell us what to expect, what to dread, and what to look forward to. For this very reason it is easy to retreat; the old year is familiar and safe, though perhaps not without its faults. Do we really have to leave it?
The same is true for new relationships. There is a thrill that comes with meeting new people and allowing them to become a part of your life and who you are. They have much to offer in helping us become improved individuals on this earthly road. But at the same time, each new relationship is a new ocean of uncharted waters; a new relationship requires new responsibilities and new expectations. We can’t keep everything the same and move forward. Do we really have to make these adjustments?
And then there are the little changes – the rebooted computer, the new quarter with a new student or two, the new youth camp to plan, the new puppy that has to be trained, and the list goes on. Each of these things demands its quota of time and attention; it can leave us wishing and worrying – wishing that nothing had to change; worried that if we don’t do it all perfectly we certainly won’t be better off. Does there really have to be so much new?
Many of these thoughts were swirling through my head as I ran with my dogs yesterday. I am someone who is eager for adventure, but slow to embrace it when it arrives. I am a planner and it requires a certain amount of effort to shift from Plan A to Plan B or vice versa. When I encounter new, I need to make adjustments to my plan in order to ensure that the new fits without disrupting too many of the tasks already on my to-do list. This new year I have a great deal of new in my life, so I am having to do a great deal of task-shifting and plan-adjusting, and not without some hesitation and lingering doubt.
As I was thinking, wrestling and praying I looked to the heavens and there was the most beautiful, perfect rainbow directly over my favorite park. I stopped my run and absorbed it. It grew more and more radiant as I lingered and instantly my thoughts went to my God and how wonderful He is. His love and promises are overarching my life, just as that rainbow was overarching my park. The words, “Enter into the joy of the Lord,” settled on my mind. New things in my life are not coincidence or happenstance. They are brought into my life by the hand of a loving God; He is the expert Planner and divine Author of my life’s story. These changes aren’t really new; it simply appears that way to me because I haven’t read the whole book yet. They are simply the next chapter waiting to be read. I am going to be doing a lot of reading this year!