In regard to 2021, I’m mostly looking toward its months with hope. I hope for surprises. I hope to be surprised in 2021. That’s it. That’s all. Isn’t that enough? I’ve made a few goals, if you will, specific areas of my life that I plan to focus in on this year. But above my goals and sketched out plans, I hope to be surprised.
There are surprises I’ve already drafted in my head—even now, in the last few moments as I typed this paragraph. Alas, as I analyze my drafted “surprises”, I acknowledge I need to put the drafts away. The Lord will do His best surprising without my input, no matter how much I raise my hand to offer my already verbalized and heard opinion.
So, the surprises are in the Lord’s hands. I hope then too, that I might handle the surprises with grace, wit, and faith. I hope for perspective, new and old, in this new year. I hope for discipline and motivation and the wherewithal to show up to do the work necessitated by the promise and arrival of the surprises.
I have in my head only good surprises, but I hope even my definition of good will adjust. I hope it aligns more closely with Jesus’s definition of good. I think that is to say that although I, in my limited body, may not understand or see the good of a surprise in its immediate form, the Lord can see eons beyond into its goodness. And sometimes a bad thing is really just a bad thing. In those surprises, I hope I trust the Lord to hold and carry me through. I’ll need help on the path and I hope I am humble enough to ask for it.
I’m bringing a lot of hope into 2021 and that’s not exactly what I expected to come out of my body when I sat down to write this, but as far as I can tell, it is true and right. I’m bringing hope into 2021. Hope that folks settle again. A lot of hope for my goals, if you will. An embarrassing amount of hope for community. Hope that I will hope if and/or when not all these hopes are realized.
The above paragraphs felt important to write. Indeed, it was powerful and surprisingly telling for me. However, it felt important to share because it is easy to get caught up in the hustle of another new year, this one arriving on the coattails of an especially bizarre year. It matters to share this because I want to invite you to borrow some of these words. Join me in hoping for surprises, hoping in general, and leaving space for the unexpected.
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