It’s interesting how I told myself that in 2014, I would be more positive and that things would change. It’s only January 14th, but I feel like all that is being challenged, as it’s been hard to stay positive with things… not changing. At least not the way I am hoping or had envisioned.
The past few days and weeks have shown me a lot of things, like a bunch of different road signs. Some have been what I was looking for; some have been telling me to make a proverbial U-Turn.
All in all, I’m confused. And afraid. And to be honest, a bit frustrated. Almost to the point of screaming (which I’ve done on some occasions).
But you know what? This is what faith is all about. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but it’s all in the hands of God. Gotta keep taking steps trusting that He will guide those steps the right way.
Sigh. I need a best friend that I could just… talk about this stuff with.
Something I saw in my church’s weekly newsletter, from The Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand:
The wise men set out on a journey into the unknown. No Google maps or GPS, just navigation by the stars as their forbears had always done, but guided this time by a heavenly body which they had not seen before. Although they were not sure of exactly where their journey would take them geographically, the wise men did know that it would take them to the infant king of the Jews. They travelled through the unknown to a meeting with Jesus, trusting that along the way they would find the sustenance and guidance they needed to complete the journey.
In a physical sense we don’t often journey into the unknown. The internet allows us to do everything from working out a route to booking the shuttle that will meet us at the airport.
Planning reduces risk, and there is certainly benefit in doing that when travelling. But planning can also be about being in control of our lives and even the lives of others. Sometimes our mania for planning can prevent us from hearing the voice of God in our lives.
As we stand on the threshold of 2014 we each face a journey into the unknown. Each of us in our own way will try to prepare and plan for what we think this journey of 365 days will bring. We may be unhappy in our work and considering launching out into the unknown of a new job. A partner, child or parent may have just died or be about to die, and living without them may be an unbearable journey into the unknown. We may be on the brink of retirement, facing a new way of living. Or deep down we may know that 2014 needs to bring change to our lives but cannot see how that can happen.
The wise men set out in faith and hope to find Jesus, relying upon God to bring them safely to their unknown destination. In trying to cope with the unknown it is very human to consider all the eventualities and how we might respond, particularly to those things that might be harmful or painful. If we contemplate the example of the wise men our prayer as we embark upon the journey into the unknown of a new year can be very simple: ‘Lead me to Jesus”. It is a prayer which God delights in answering.
And for those of us who can become so immersed in our plans and goals that we fail to look for heavenly guidance, sometimes a second prayer is necessary: “Holy Spirit, help me to recognize and respond to your guidance as I seek Jesus”.
The star is always present in our lives but we do need to learn to look for it.
I think I’m really afraid of the unknown. Who isn’t? But I think following God’s will often requires steps into the unknown where things are out of your control. Yet, how many times have I said that I’d follow God’s will, only to silently tack on “as long as it’s something I’m happy with”?
I was actually faced with this today. Someone from church told me about this possible scenario that could end up going really well. But to do that, I’d have to face a lot of unknowns and having things out of my control. I’m tentatively saying yes, but deep down… I have my own plan of what I want for myself. Yet as I write this, I’m wondering whether or not it would be more worth it to go the route of the unknown. Can I let go of my plans?
There’s so much that I want to go well in 2014… but I wonder how readily I will be able to take those steps with complete faith.
Everything you love is here
Meditation from the Daily Missal (March 10, 2013):
Our love of life most strongly motivates us when life itself is threatened. Destitute parents give what little food they have first to the children rather than themselves. Doctors and nurses work tirelessly to help heal a person diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Even a perfect stranger donates a kidney to a person in renal failure. The most prodigal act we can do is give another life.
Pushed by desperation, the younger son in the gospel returns home confident that his father won’t let him die. The son is seeking only to live. The prodigality of the father is about even more than this. The father is concerned about his son’s identity and his life. The father not only guarantees his son’s life, but gives new life when he restores him as his son.
Lent, too, is about identity and new life. It is a desert time when we come to thirst more deeply for the life only made possible by growing in our relationship with Christ. By returning home to Christ (by being reconciled with God and each other), we become “a new creation” in him (2 Cor 5:17-21). Lent helps us seek new life; reconciliation guarantees new life. God’s most prodigal act is to give us this new life.
Looking back at 2012.
If I had to describe 2012, I’d describe it as a roller-coaster ride. There were lots of ups and downs. Lots of joys, lots of disappointments. This was probably one of the most trying years I’ve had in recent memory. Taking a second to think back on what has affected me and the world, a lot comes to mind.
Giants winning #SuperBowlXLVI against the Patriots.
#Linsanity brought hope to suffering Knicks fans.
The #Olympics… Usain Bolt dominated again, Michael Phelps ended his career, South Korea won bronze in soccer… so much athletic greatness in a two-week span.
The midnight premiere of #TheDarkKnightRises was marred by the shootings in #Aurora.
#GangnamStyle was released in June, and more than 1.5 billion YouTube views later, becomes a huge hit for PSY.
The #Curiosity space rover launched.
Jerry #Sandusky was sentenced to life in prison.
Hurricane #Sandy ripped through the Northeast.
Miguel Cabrera won the #MLB #TripleCrown.
The #Yankees couldn’t hit in October.
Barack #Obama won #FourMoreYears in the presidential election.
The #Knicks got off to a fast start in the new NBA season.
After months of searching, I finally got a new #job in December!
The #EndOfTheWorld came and went.
The nation was rocked by the tragedy at #Newtown.
Looking back, there were a lot of down times and tragic events, but there were a lot of things that restored our faith in humanity. I struggled a lot and faced as much doubt as I’ve ever faced in my life, but I also found myself trusting God as much as I ever have too. This year made me realize so much that God has everything in control, that God knows and does what is best for me, and that God provides for me no matter what.
I’m looking forward to seeing how 2013 plays out. I’m hoping things will continue to fall into place for me. I’m hoping that God will continue to use me for His glory and that I’ll enjoy the year no matter what. Here’s to a new beginning!
Fixer Chapter 11: As If In A Dream is now out and available for all to read! In this chapter, the band makes their long awaited journey to Japan and in the opening days of their trip, become exposed to the world of visual kei! Head on over to www.fixercomic.com now to get to experience this pivotal point in the story! Please help spread the word by reblogging and sharing this with your friends, and comment on the chapter after reading!