I typically promise myself to write down a reflection at the end of every year; a reflection of how the year has passed and what I expect to come my way in the course of the coming year. But when life is defined by a kingdom that has come but that is yet to culminate in absolute visibility, a kingdom that is defined beyond time and space, this exercise of treading from year to year with fear and trepidation, coupled with resolutions we might most likely not fulfil, becomes rather meaningless.
Tomorrow may be the first day of a new year, but in actuality, it is just another day that will see another sunrise and another sunset. Just like God has been faithful all these past years, His mercies will continue to be new every morning. While we grasp for certainty and stability and security, God is the only entity that will be the same forever.
Everything else in this world and around us changes. The sooner we come to terms with that the better. Change is the only constant in life. People who think their lives are absolutely secure are living within the confines of a personal and social illusion. Those who desire to seize the true meaning of life and everything that God desires a life to attain have to wake up to the reality of an ever-changing world and let the reality of uncertainty become the new constant in life. In spiritual terms, this action is called 'faith'.
We embrace this new constant of uncertainty not because we think that by some sheer stroke of luck life would treat us more favourably than it does others. We march into and surf through the waves of uncertainty because we trust in God, knowing that if He doesn't lighten our loads, He would somehow at least strengthen our backs to bear the heavier loads that life sometimes heaps upon us.
Has this been a good year for me? By and large, it has been a great year. I have done with my life what I felt I needed to do and to the best of my abilities, and in many ways, God has blessed my feeble endeavours in undeserving ways.
But I am not crossing my fingers in constant hope that every year will be a good year. I have had excruciating years before, times when I found myself at the exit of a year suffering the defeat of shame, failure and humiliation. During those moments, I vulnerably stood at the brink of the new year with my head looking down. But life never stopped; the next year came all the same and God led me through the rest of life.
All I know is this: all throughout this past year, my God was there; for the year to come, He will be there. I cannot assume that the coming year will be a year of great happiness and success. But I dare to be presumptuous enough to believe this: "For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me." (Psalm 23:4, Douay-Rheims Bible)
So let the new year come, and I shall walk into it with my hands clenched in the hands of Christ my Lord. And together with all the saints past, I join their chorus in crying, "Come, Lord Jesus".