By Ben Smith
As the sun breaks through the clouds to realize another day, another year and another season, there are so many questions about the future that run through my mind. Will it be positive? Will there be challenges? How will our ministry as a church impact our community?
The musician and his cellist above knew exactly what was about to happen after the pause. It seemed like they had a little secret they were bursting to share with the crowd, and it made them so obviously joyful to then let down their walls and share their expression with the audience. At that moment, at 3 minutes and 30 seconds, it was as if the hope of a new day was revealed, and as tears welled in my eyes I experienced what it was like to wake again with joyful anticipation of what lies ahead. Goosebumps appeared on my arms as I was engulfed in the delight of their talent and synergy.
This joyful anticipation is something that I want to experience every day. Like writing on my face, I want people to see that I am so joyful about life that a secret little smile appears that I don’t even know about. When I share with them the blessings I’ve received, when I complement them on their cooking or their latest haircut, this feeling of joyful anticipation will be out there for all to see. It seems that all one has to do to be a part of it is to share of ones self in the purist way they can.
There is so much to look forward to this year: birthdays, weddings, baptisms, celebrations of anniversaries and much more. On the other hand, perhaps even at the same time, we will no doubt experience sorrow, loss and grief, as these are inevitable in the circle of life. These emotions and experiences will cause us to think about life and God, and maybe even motion us towards conversations about the future of Christianity in today’s world. How can we be relevant today? How is God working with us? Are we listening to God at all?
I have hope. Hope that this year will bring new opportunities to experience the Divine in ways I could not have even imagined. Hope that the ministries of the church will reach more people. Hope that we might work together with great fervor in creating communities of love and generosity. Hope that I have the courage to apologise to those I’ve hurt, to thank those who have given me blessings and to forgive those who might have hurt me. Hope that I have the strength and perseverance to pursue my dreams like never before.
What do you hope for? What are your dreams? Write them down, tell someone about them, then live them out and make them real! So, with a joyful anticipation, we wake again for the new day to rise and be ourselves, the best person we can be.