My experience of this new year, as for many of us, is different.
Every year when the clock turns from the old year to the new, I am compelled to write and put my thoughts, aspirations, and expectations into words. Each new year is a clean canvas to discover with new plans, experiences, and people.
Where I usually am motivated with aspirations and changes, this time I have this strong sense of just staying where I am, sitting still and properly looking around. This mindset is particularly hard for me, since moving around comes much more naturally, but God specialises in teaching me the uncomfortable lessons until they seem comfortable.
Thinking about the words and ideas for this blog, a confirmation came directly towards me in the quotation on the first day of my new 2021 diary:
“Happiness is not about getting all you want; it’s about enjoying all you have” – Unknown
I could feel the peace streaming out of this “unknown” person’s words.
It takes my thoughts to a vision of someone sitting on a chair, the chair of 2020, the person is ready to get up and move on, but a loving hand pushes him back gently into the chair, to sit there a bit longer. There is nothing else for him to do than to stay and look around. His energy of moving out has been stopped and forced to be limited to the moment of just staying where he is. If he accepts the status quo it is much easier to tolerate being where he is and paves the way to peace, but if he resists this moment it causes an unbearable uneasiness from within.
In some way I wonder if the frustration of 2020, lockdowns, and the pandemic has impacted us in this way. We just want to move on, away from this chair, but we are forced to stay and look around. The resistance to sit and deal with our realities will indeed make this season unbearable.
But there is another way …
- we choose not to resist our status quo and stop focusing on our limitations,
- we intentionally open our eyes to what we already have,
- we exercise gratefulness, and
- we intentionally let these habits guide us towards wanting what we already have and not just merely live with the brew of indignation in our hearts.
We have all experienced the traumatic loss of freedom during this time, none of us can even remember previous years where this has happened before.
The fact remains we do not choose our circumstances, but we do determine our response.
Can you find joy and peace in your here and now? In 2021?
There might be more freedom in acceptance than you ever could imagine.
As for me, I am moving diligently towards wanting what I have and expecting great treasures in this uncomfortable place of sitting down.
May your 2021 bring peace, maybe more than you planned on having.
I end with these verses from God’s heart:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Written by Johanni Meiring
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