What a difference a year makes! A year ago I was experiencing my first Christmas without my dad. My last living grandparent had died at the beginning of 2011 as well. In almost every way I was not where I wanted to be – personally, professionally, spiritually. The dark of winter 2011 was a dark time for me.
As 2012 draws to a close I am in a really different place. But it has taken a long, sometimes hard road. Several days ago I saw on Twitter the following from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting, however, is an art that our impatient age has forgotten….We must wait for the greatest, most profound, most gentle things in the world; nothing happens in a rush, but only according to the divine laws of germination and growth and becoming.”
How often do we not find God’s place for us, God’s will for us because our time frame is too short? A year is a long time to struggle and to wait. For me it was really a three-year wait to get to where God has brought me today. If God is eternal and God’s purposes are worked out sometimes over generations as we see in Scripture, is a year a long time even in a human life? Do we give God enough room to work? I doubt it. I don’t at least.
The same thing seems true about our hopes and dreams. We narrow what we want, focus our dreams so precisely sometimes, that we leave God little room to move. Is it any wonder that we see so many prayers and so many hopes unrealized?
As 2013 dawns tomorrow morning I am trying to give God sufficient room to work. Adequate time for me to see and comprehend where God might want me to travel. Not the typical New Year’s resolution but one, I think, I need more than anything in the year to come. Perhaps you too?