By now most of us are starting to get back into the flow of the newly begun year. Some of us are excited at the fresh beginning. Resolutions guiding us to what will certainly be our best year yet. Others are more cautious, no less hopeful but perhaps with more soberness to what could be. Regardless, here you are today, once again, at a beginning. Naturally beginnings afford us the stimulus to observe where we are and where are we going.
In our observation we notice that life daily propels us forward whether we are prepared to move from moment to moment or not. Each day offering opportunities for faith and fatigue, struggles for provision and with potential, relationships to flourish and to flounder, aspirations to inspire and become insipid. Often amid the unstoppable downpour of time, we find ourselves lost of location and acutely aware of our inability to subdue time’s surge.
It is here, at the beginning of something new, that the psalmist who penned for us Psalm 90 is most helpful. Lost of location due to the deluge, we hear,
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
That’s where you are today. Opening up your computer or reading on your phone, in this new year you are where you have always been: in the dwelling place of God. Nowhere new, despite how difficult it might be to see clearly through rain soaked lenses.
The psalmist realizes the paradox in which we live. You are already where you are going, and yet in the tide of life we feel anything but eternally grounded. The constant movement of time has taught us that we have little ability to manipulate the flow that pulls, pushes, and propels; thus we are acutely aware of our temporariness amidst everlasting forces wondering if what we do really matters or doing every little thing lacking all direction. To this the psalmist gives us to prayer,
“Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!...Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days…Let your work be shown to your servants…Let the beauty of the Lord our God rest upon us, and confirm the work we do, Oh yes! Affirm the work we do!”
What lies ahead of us in this new year is not a destination—we are already here, with the Lord as our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting—but rather, a way of living well where we are. A way of recognizing the morning sun that breaks through the rain clouds revealing the beauty of the landscape hidden by the downpour. A way of living in which the work you do today, tomorrow, and the day after is temporal yet not temporary; aligned with the work God is doing.
You are here. That is where you are going.
-- Jeremy Pace