I’ve been having lots of thoughts recently about the year ahead, I’m helping out on a retreat day next week aiming to help some youth workers in Brighton get some perspective on the year ahead and it’s making me ponder what I expect from the year to come. There are things I want to happen in this coming year, there are things I deeply hope for and desire, there is a whole bunch of stuff I have no idea of and there are some things I fear. In short another year of walking through this twisting turning life faces me.
There are things I need to remember in the midst of it all. Mainly that I am not in control of what happens. There is a tiny circle of things I can do to make other things happen, I can do some things to achieve my goals and then, it’s out of my hands. I can’t control timings or the direction of my ship, I can only set sail and see what happens. I can place a hand on the rudder to help steer and put sails up where needed but I can’t find land or control the weather I encounter.
Last night we read the New Year prayer from the Valley of Vision in our church small group. It says this:
“Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world
and in love didst redeem my soul,
Thou dost love me still
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me during another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness, in retreat helping me to advance, when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor with thee as the blessed Pilot of my future as of my past.”
Another old hymn says:
“I know not what of good or ill
Shall be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before his face I see.
But I know whom I’ve believed
He’s able now to save
What I’ve committed unto him
Until my dying day.”
Pretty good things to be remembering as I live each day this year. I have no idea what will come but I am loved with an everlasting love and that remains true through the dark clouds that veil my eyes to it at times, it remains true in hard situations I can’t control, in situations I would love to change, in hopes not yet realised and in all the wonderful, complex, messy and joyful relationships I have with others in this life.
What I do this year matters a whole lot less than whether I know more of my God and am transformed by his love as I seek to serve and love the people around me. That’s what I want to talk to people about next weekend and that’s what I want to live out today.