We come to it at last, the end of another year. 2012 is finished. Frankly, this has been a major 12-month spread for me. I turned thirty, completed my first novel, and moved 2,500 miles from the west coast to the east coast based on a leading of faith due to my relationship with Christ Jesus. Those are the major milestones, anyway (in other, lesser news, Lego released Lord of the Rings building sets, all of which are excellent, and Christopher Nolan completed a three-film Batman character arc that, while imperfect, essentially compresses the hero’s 70-plus years of comic history into a deeply moving mythic retelling that is unlikely to be surpassed in my lifetime).
But I am not concerned with 2012 in this post (though, I will reflect on the year later this week, I promise). At present, my focus is on 2013. What is so special about 2013? Well, nothing. And everything. And that is the reason I want to take some time to consider it before it starts.
In 2013, I will likely continue to live with my wife and parents in my parent’s home. I will likely find full-time employment in some financial setting. I will likely self-publish my novel, Stronghold, on several e-reading platforms, and it will likely be bought by 50 or so assorted friends and family and then disappear with the other hundred-thousand books being released this year. I doubt very highly that my wife and I will get pregnant, but I suspect we may need to buy a second car. I will turn 31 should I live through June, but the birthday will likely be something of a non-event following the major celebration of the prior year. We may or may not receive visitors from California. We may or may not be able to take trips ourselves. All in all, 2013 looks to be less eventful than the last year has been.
But what if it is not? What if I’m wrong? What if my expectations are too low? What if God has bigger plans than I think he does? This is a compelling thought, and I cannot ask the question without being filled immediately with a certain level of anticipation.
What if 2013 will be the most exciting and most epic year of my and my wife’s lives? What if Stronghold catches fire with readers? What if we are pregnant with twins in ten months? What if we don’t need to buy a second car, either because we don’t need it or a second is gifted to us? What if we have visitors every other month? What if other things fall apart, and we are brought closer to God and to one another through it?
I raise these possibilities as food for thought. We human beings are very good at planning. We are also very good at forgetting. We forget that much of our existence becomes self-fulfilled prophecy when we set low expectations and wait passively for them to be met. We also forget that free will and choice are powerful agents, and we need not be bound to what “will likely” happen. We forget that God is powerful and that he is engaged with us, and ultimately, he does as he chooses–oftentimes upsetting our apple-carts of comfort and mediocrity.
I hate to think that the next year is only going to be what I, in all my finite ignorance, can comprehend or anticipate. I think God is bigger than my grandest designs, and I think that when we look toward the coming months, he wants us to remember Him. He has already seen all that will come to pass, and he is already at work in it. Consider that. God can do anything he wants in 2013, and in some ways he already has. Makes the year seem pretty important, doesn’t it? Makes it feel full of possibilities. Makes me look forward to it far more than I would based on what “will likely” happen. I love to live in the reality of God’s existence, not only because of all the great things he has done but all that he can do in the year to come.
Take a moment. Thank God in advance for the ways in which he’ll reveal Himself in the coming year. Beg him to use you furthering his kingdom. Seek opportunities to do so. Who knows? Maybe 2013 will be the best year of your life and mine. This is the hope. May God let it be, to his praise and glory.
Thanks for reading,