I'm a planner. Goal setting, lists, five-year plans, I want it all, control, give it to me. And yet here we are at this place in our lives where I can see only a few months down the road. After that, nothing. The husband graduates (at long last; I can scarcely remember life without school) and then, degree in hand...what? A job, we hope. A good one, even better. But where? When? Move? Stay? Buy? Rent? Broke?
It's like I can see my life up until the end of May, and then there's nothing but an endless cliff. It doesn't matter how hard I squint, I can't see the answers at the bottom.
(And what folly, truly, to say I can see that far down the road, for I do not know what even tomorrow will bring.)
And so, Hope. It is all I can cling to, this Hope that brings with it a calm peace and the assurance that whatever happens, it will ultimately be for Good.
Henri Nouwen says it best:
Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled, but fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes...saying, "I don't know what this all means, but I trust that good things will happen."
And that is where I find myself. I have given up peering over that cliff, squinting, trying to predict the future below. What will happen, will happen, and I trust that it will ultimately be good.
That is the micro.
Then there is the macro, the far bigger picture than my own tiny life. In that there is the Hope that the perpetual advent, coming, of this age, will one day find its fulfillment in God's Kingdom here on earth. What begun with the birth that we are preparing to celebrate will one day, in God's good time, be completed. We can try to imagine what that will be like, but we don't know. We don't. We couldn't possibly imagine it, and what sort of God could be so easily pinned down anyway?
I am reminded, again, that whatever tomorrow looks like, He is already there. And I will forget again and I will be reminded again and then yet again I will forget, this I know of myself.
This is why we need community, to remind each other, over and over.
Again, Nouwen, emphasis mine:
Christian community is the place where we keep the flame alive among us and take it seriously, so that it can grow and become stronger in us. In this way we can live with courage, trusting that there is a spiritual power in us that allows us to live in this world without being seduced constantly by despair, lostness, and darkness. That is how we dare to say that God is a God of love even when we see hatred all around us. That is why we can claim that God is a God of life even when we see death and destruction and agony all around us. We say it together. We affirm it in one another. Waiting together, nurturing what has already begun, expecting its fulfillment - that is the meaning of marriage, friendship, community, and the Christian life.
As we wait together, let us wait in Hope. "I don't know what this all means, but I trust that good things will happen."
Good things from a good God.
Linking up with the Born in our Darkness Advent syncroblog