Entering into the infancy of this new year, I am reflecting over all the changes I have experienced in the span of just a few short months. Through a period of prayerful discernment and many miles walked with my wife in the evenings as she patiently listened to me talk it out, I accepted a new position and in many ways a new calling that would involve us relocating. Just as homes were being decorated for the fall, our home of ten years was sold, and soon we were scrambling to pack our things away and live in temporary quarters. As others were packing away Christmas decorations, we were once again zipping up suitcases and moving away from church and children to start a new life and work.
We have enjoyed the company and rekindling of old friendships, and have cherished revisiting familiar places, but still everything is so new, so uncertain. I am still learning names and responsibilities of my colleagues at Developmental Disabilities Ministries. I have yet to visit all of the wonderful homes populated by our friends who live there and are loved there.
Even now as I write this article I am still not settled. There is a house to close on so that we can claim it as our own (along with the bank that was so kind to loan us the necessary funds); and all our worldly goods are still packed up on the back of a truck waited to be unloaded.
It is indeed an uncertain life. And so it is for all of us, even those convinced that what they have and what they know is fixed and immovable. We are all dwelling between certainty and uncertainty. Each day is its own new year filled with new possibilities. Just today I read a delightful quote by Charles Kettering: “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”
Yes, this grand yet mysterious future is always before us where little is certain. All we can do is move forward into the certainty of loving and being loved. Where others preach fear and retaliation in the face of uncertainty, I will join my voices with the chorus of others whose purpose is to live out the commands of the Hebrew Scriptures: Love God…love your neighbor. Jesus said all the other commandments rest on these two.
Last Sunday I sat in worship and was loved in the liturgy of the people expressing love for God. I admit I squirmed a bit when it was time for the sermon because for so many Sundays that has been my time to share words of love. But this Sunday I was loved by the words of others. It helped center me for the good work of loving our friends at DDM – some who have few other places to go where they will experience unconditional love.
For the benediction the minister proclaimed the words of Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881):
Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who make the journey with us. So… be swift to love, and make haste to be kind. And the blessing of God, who made us, who loves us, and who travels with us be with you now and forever.
Grateful to share this uncertain life with you, to love and be loved!