left in the middle
As I wrote here, turning the calendar page will change nothing more than the date. If real change and transformation are what we are seeking, we need to look beyond changing numbers and politicians.
We need to look at ourselves.
Ever hold your phone up to take a picture, forgetting that the camera is set to your face? It's a horror show, isn't it, seeing your own face that close up? We don't want to know what we really look like.
I plan on looking at myself in this new year. Uncovering all of those sins, wounds, hurts, mistakes, and flaws I have gotten so good at hiding; pressing into the uncomfortable places I have managed to keep at a good distance with a vintage filter and overpriced latte. Quieting down and resisting the urge to start one more project; leaning into the nothingness and open spaces that feel like torture to someone like me who thinks that things like oxygen and contentment can only be purchased by what I produce.
Because you see, I have been tiptoeing around what needs a good, gentle, walking through for too long.
This will not feel good. It will not always go well. And it will not be fast-moving. Because God never takes short cuts, does he? He always takes his kids on the long scenic route. And then...he drops us off somewhere in the middle...leaving us there...seemingly alone. And I hate the middle. The middle feels like I am far from help. The middle feels like I am alone. The middle feels like there is no end. And yet, the middle is God's favorite place to work.
What will help me to hold my ground when left in the middle will be to constantly ask myself this one question: Quid hoc as aeternitatem? In English translation...How does this look in the light of eternity? Amazing how repeating this just once or twice puts everything into proportion. Sets everything right. Grabs a hold of every distorted thought that I have, plucks it up, and throws it away. How it pushes the clutter around in my heart, clearing the way and making room so that God can go back to His rightful place. Make no mistake...it does not take the present circumstance away. It does not make the middle any shorter. But it does make it bearable, giving you just what you need to finish the race.
Because the only thing the turning of a calendar page does guarantee is this...I am one day closer to standing before my God. And I don't know about you, but when I DO see him, I don't want Him to have the reaction that I have when surprised by seeing my own face.
And so it is time to get to work. Face the camera towards ourselves. See what we really look like. Then head out into the middle and let God work.