Here’s to happy endings

If there’s one time of year I dislike more than Christmas, it’s new year! I find it ludicrous that a change in the date can make everyone believe tomorrow will be different. The weather will still be cold and grey. We’re all still broke and fat after the excesses of the festive season and pay day is just as far away!

I should look back and be grateful for all the good things that happened over the last year. But my mind just goes blank and what springs to mind are the disappointments and struggles. The challenges yet to be overcome, the wholeness that continues to allude me.

I hear my mother’s voice in my head that I have nothing to be miserable about. I am mightily blessed and she is right! My heart goes out to all those who are facing 2014 without a precious loved one, the hope of new life or a fulfilling job, a full stomach or a roof over their heads. However, I can’t deny that I wish things were other than they are.

I guess that is a big part of what makes me who I am. Pioneers and prophets see the world as it could be and not how it is. Why else would I be motivated to inspire others to take risks and do church, mission and relationships differently? It’s just at the start of a new year, we never seem to have accomplished as much as I’d hoped and the size of the task ahead is as daunting and overwhelming as ever.

However, before I tip you over the edge and you’re tempted to join me in the pit of despair as we contemplate what’s before us, I came across some words that encouraged me. They seem so appropriate on the cusp of a new year and I wanted to share them because the reality is tomorrow will be much like today. And yet…

“The Author
By Whom the Happy Ending is possible.

We live in an ‘in-between’ time. The past behind us, the future in front of us as we straddle the gap between how things are and how things are meant to be. It’s a cosmic case of middle child syndrome. We’re familiar with the beginning and aware of the end, but somehow feel uncomfortable and even at times ignored in what we know as our present.

It can be dark living in the shadows of seemingly more important people and epochs. So dark that we question the Author and demand that He take responsibility for the world we’ve inherited. And, to our surprise, He agrees, and assumes both responsibility and remedy. Evil is His problem and He knows it. And for those of us with more questions than answers, this realisation begins to put us at ease because the path to The Happy Ending is lit by the Light Himself.” (page 35, …And we will become a happy ending by Joe Manafo)

So Happy New Year. Not because we have a new diary and haven’t had time to mess up yet, but because Christ is with us. We’re not alone and the Happy Ending is in His scarred and capable hands. A carpenter used to fashioning purpose and beauty out of unyielding blocks of wood. ‘Into your hands I commit my spirit,’ again.