This time of year most of us are thinking about the future. We’re setting goals, dreaming dreams and planning all of the ways next year is going to be different than the last. Except for my family. Over the New Year’s holiday we are generally recovering from a natural disaster.
I don’t believe that any days are inherently unlucky, but if I did, I would say New Year’s Eve is our Friday the 13th. It’s like magnet for catastrophe.
In the past six years we have had a house fire, a water leak that ruined our living room floor and a gruesome emergency room trip when my wife lost a fight with an immersion blender. I will spare you the details.
As you can imagine, these curveballs played havoc with our New Year plans. The year I thought we’d be hosting a New Year’s Day party, I found myself ripping up laminate flooring. The year we were supposed to do Christmas with my mom, we spent hours getting my wife’s finger stitched up instead. And the year we had the fire, it took weeks of dealing with insurance and home restoration people to get the house back to normal.
The good news, though, is that these nasty surprises have taught me a valuable lesson about life that sets the tone for the new year. Make all of the plans you want, but hold on loosely because you never know what the future holds.
James 4:15-16 says “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that’” (NLT).
In other words it’s better to hold on to God than whatever plans we’re making for our lives. Our circumstances are unpredictable, but God’s faithfulness isn’t. It’s great to have to goals and dreams, but far to better to have a God who will walk with you whatever life throws your way.