Last night, I managed to stay awake long enough to welcome 2010. Most of the evening was spent playing games with the family, but we turned on the TV long enough to see the ball drop in New York. I believe my words at 12:01 a.m. went something like, “That was fun. Now let’s go to bed.”
This morning as I was reflecting on the Times Square festivities, I wondered if our society doesn’t so much mark the passing time at New Year’s, as it tries to stop it, to turn back time, and to be young again. Maybe not. Perhaps we don’t do those things any more at New Year’s than we do the rest of the year, and maybe this is a time for positive change. But I wondered anyway.
Part of my wondering is because I have a friend with cancer. Last year was a time for fighting it, and for hopes of remission, but she recently learned the cancer has returned. For her, 2010 won’t be a time of turning back the clock. Instead, it will be a time of dying.
She and I have talked before about her cancer and about the possibility of death. I have always been aware that she must face a whole range of emotions and feelings, including fear. Beyond that, however, I have always experienced a profound sense of peace about her. It seemed to me that Jesus walks especially close to her. I think it must be that Jesus understands what it means to face one’s own death, and that he is especially close to those who have to do the same.
Ecclesiastes 3 talks about seasons for everything. My resolution for this year is, by the grace of God, to recognize my season and to live within it to the best of my ability:
To walk with and learn from my friend, who is dying,
To walk with and learn from my daughters, who are still learning to live,
To sow and reap with my wife, who tends the garden in our yard and our family,
To weep and laugh with my small group,
To mourn, to dance, and to heal with my congregation…
My prayer for my friend (and for everyone) is that you may continue to know and to walk in the peace of Christ, which is not a shallow feeling or emotion, but which is constant through the seasons.