Happy New Year!
The holidays can be a joyful time, full of wonderful moments and encompassing love. However, they can also be exhausting. We run the race, go to the parties, make the drives, cook the turkeys, … it can get overwhelming! January is a great time to sit back and relax, to throttle down and allow the busy nature of the past season to wash away. I urge you to take the time to do just that: Take time to sit back and be thankful for all the blessings in your life.
It’s easy to forget how much God impacts our lives amidst all the ‘stuff’ we do. It’s not intentional but it still happens. How did Advent affect you, this year? Did the services help? The reflections? Did you feel closer to God this year than in the last, further away, or the same? The answers matter, yet the questions matter more. Because faith is the one thing that we don’t ‘throttle down’. Faith should be a burning desire, a sense of seeking and wonder that fuels us through life’s seasons. We should be able to rely upon faith when things seem impossible and rejoice in faith when all is well. But to be able to understand our faith, we have to question where our faith IS. Constantly. It may seem exhausting, but really, it doesn’t have to be. If done well, this process turns into a constant conversation with God—an open-ended dialogue that never ceases. Sometimes the conversation is difficult, sometimes it’s mysterious and confusing, but most of the time it’s a sense of beautiful revelation. Revelation of things known, revelation of faith not yet encountered, revelation of grace unearned yet joyfully received.
This year, try to start that conversation if you haven’t already. And if you have, think about what the next level of dialogue with God sounds like. In a few short months, we’ll be on our way into Lent and Easter; my hope for all of us is that this current conversation leads us into those seasons filled with hope and desire for the constant companionship of God. And of course, with one another.
God bless you all. I look forward to another joy-filled year with you; and I eagerly anticipate the growth we’ll undoubtedly experience together.