C.S. Lewis wrote “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind”. Isn’t that an appropriate statement as we begin a new year? I thought so. The past year has been a series of mountains and valleys. A year of new dreams and attempts; a year of falling short and trying again. A year of joy and sorrow. I would imagine, upon reflection, that life has been that way for you, too.
We do not know for certain where any road leads. I used to long for guarantees…you know, a close to sure thing before venturing forth. Not at every stage of life, of course. When I headed to college and on my semester abroad, I had no idea what was ahead. I didn’t need to know. The same was true when I worked for Burroughs. I had a sense of wide-eyed optimism at those points in my life. It didn’t occur to me that things could turn out anything but magnificently.
Life marches on for each of us, though, doesn’t it? When life breaks our heart or shocks us, when hopes get shattered, as they sometimes do, it affects us. Of course it does, or we would not learn from our missteps or mistakes. BUT we mustn’t let even the biggest tragedies stop us from hope or take our determination to be joyful.
So in these early days of the new year, take some time. Take some time for you. Those in the northern hemisphere, take advantage of those short hours of daylight to snuggle in a quilt, have some coffee or tea, and reflect. Warm your hands and your heart. Know that longer days are coming. I don’t have snowy days in Phoenix, but we awoke to frost on our car Sunday morning. The chill in the air reminded me of the way my faith envelopes me and warms my soul.
Hope is just around the next bend in the road. Seek joy. Hope is there.