As a New Week Begins . . .

I confess that I sometimes don’t want the new week to begin.

I know that it will be busy. I know that it will likely follow a pattern similar to the previous week. I know that some things will go well and smoothly and other things won’t. I know that sometimes I will take great comfort in the everyday, familiar routine but in some moments wish I could escape it. I will experience joy and disappointment. And probably, at times, a sort of boredom. I will both not get everything done that I would like or that I intend and I will not use all of my time as productively as I should.

I will also have conversations, and hints of a deeper connection with this or that person, a fleeting glimpse perhaps into a stranger’s essential humanity, how they have been made in the imago Dei. I will experience the mild frustration at how time pulls us along, forcing us to live more at the surface than in the depths. I will briefly grieve the loss this superficiality represents.

I will feel a longing for more and yet a gratitude for what is, the underlying dissatisfaction a signpost for life’s true source of meaning. I will entertain the hope that the various pieces of my life and what I make of it do in fact add up to something more, that God is an infinitely more skilled mathematician than I.

I will realize at times that how I see things — and how I see myself — is not how I need to see things, nor how God necessarily sees them. Though too often I will unconsciously equate the two. I will both be too hard on myself and give myself too much credit. Like anyone else, I will be a walking contradiction. Or at least I will remain often inconsistent.

I will see something new in one person’s eyes but fail to see someone else at all.

And I will pray. I will ask my Lord and my God to forgive my oversights and transgressions, to mend my wounds and shine light through the cracks. I will underestimate what he’s up to and be grateful for what I am graced to notice of his hand.

Sometimes I don’t want the new week to begin, because in part I know what’s coming and in part I do not. Because I cannot control the outcome of this or that. Because I want to turn my Sabbath rest into a hiding place, a location where I can avoid dealing with the mundane and unexpected. Because I want all things new right now, not later, in some distant eschatological future of God’s choosing.

But begin the new week must. And that’s ok. Because while it means having to face myself and the world around me honestly, with an open-heart and a willingness to seek God’s wisdom it is possible to do so with hope, with a peace that makes no sense given the circumstances. Whatever else is true of the week to come, God is already there, already knows, and is already present to prepare me for it.

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