“Out with the old, in with the new.”
Flipping a calendar from 2014-2015 and expecting change is, on the one hand, realistic, since little to nothing of this world is permanent.
On the other hand, there’s a superstitious dimension to our thinking. “Ah-HAH! A new digit is showing on the calendar, therefore stuff has to get better.” I had to laugh – actually, I had to switch stations – as a news broadcast on my car radio gave time to an astrologer to opine on what the stars were telling her about 2015.
Life is like a game of hot potato, with our own choices, actions, external events and forces beyond our control all flipping our reality around. We certainly shape a big chunk of our own circumstances, but after a couple of decades of dealing with autism I’m not one of those people like mass murderer Timothy McVeigh, who before his execution invoked that creepy pagan “I am the captain of my soul” poem.
The truth? Some stuff – plenty of stuff – is securely in my hands, and plenty more is hurtling toward me from a blind spot.
The ambiguity of life is palpable right now. 2015 brings Joey’s 21st birthday, which sets up his move into a group home. Melissa and I have looked toward this – sometimes with “Are we there, yet?” desperation – for years. But we also imagine looking across the hall from our bedroom to his and seeing it empty. That’s going to be “different,” to use an empty word for some emotion we’d rather not feel at the moment.
We just had our last in-home meeting with a wonderful case worker from the community agency that serves Joey so well. A cast of supportive characters in whom we are confident and with whom we are comfortable will be changing with Joey’s next steps in life. I’m sure the new team will be great, too. But the change doesn’t inspire “out with the old, in with the new” noisemakers and party hats.
Our older son and his wife (Tim and Carly – I never seem to name them in these blog things) have been in for Christmas and New Year’s. We’ve delighted in the time with them. Tomorrow they fly back to their home and near-future in Charleston, SC, and we won’t see them again for months – maybe not until this time a year away – depending upon the hot potato match between what we do and what life throws at us. The new intervals between visits stand to lengthen now that they are married, graduated and working. So some of “the old” was a plus sign and “the new” might be dangling a minus at us. Flipping a calendar page is symbolic of that, but not decisive to how the equation works out.
Anyway, enough New Year’s Day musings. We pray that the One who holds past, present and future together brings you blessings, most of all the inner peace that comes from knowing Him as the undefeated champion of hot potato:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)